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Full text of "Autobiography of Albert Reynolds Taylor, Ph.D., LL.D., L.H.D., President Emeritus, the James Millikin University"

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http://archive.org/details/autobiographyofaOOtayl 






of 

Albert Reynolds Taylor, PL. D, LL. d., l h. d. 

President Emeritus The Jarnes M.illikin University 




PUBLISHED BY THE 

REVIEW PRINTING AND STATIONERY CO. 

DECATUR. ILLINOIS 

19 2 9 




Dedicated to My Devoted Family 

and to My Associates in 

Three Colleges 




ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR. 1924 




TAYLOR COAT OF ARMS 
"Whatever he noes after he will fetch" 




I admit at the outset that this autobiography is written in 
a sympathetic spirit, not a very unusual thing however, and 
that my principal excuse for writing it is that I know of no 
one who could do it so well as myself, and that it would not 
be. an autobiography if any one else should do it for me. As 
there has been little startling, sensational, tragical or humorous 
in my life and little that I would care to conceal, I shall not 
find it very difficult to give a faithful account of it. 

The chief reason for doing it at all is that I have been as- 
sured that it would be gratifying to my friends and that its 
perusal might prove instructive and encouraging to many 
young people with limitations similar to mine in whom there 
also may be aspirations for better things and a larger sphere 
of service in their advancing years. Biographies and auto- 
biographies there are a plenty and quickening, propellant ones 
too, so I am not vain enough to think that this attempt will 
find such extensive circulation that it will contribute very 
largely to the educative and inspirative momentum of such 
literature, and I shall not be disappointed if it gets little recog- 
nition outside the circle of choice friends with whom it has 
been a joy to live and labor for better things. 



Contents 

Page 

Preface 9 

Part I. Ancestry, early life and education 13- 45 

Part II. Lincoln University, 1872-1882 46-55 

Part III. The State Normal School of Kansas 56-91 

Part IV. The James Millikin University. 1901-1913. . 92-123 

Part V. Seeing America — Opening of World 

War 1913-15 ^ 125-137 

Part V The James Millikin University again 

1915-19 ." 125-137 

The Institute of Civic Arts, etc 138-139 

Part VI. Millikin a Third Time, 1924— The Narra- 
tive Resumed 141-152 

Mrs. Frances Minerva Dent Taylor 154-158 

A Word of Appreciation 159-160 

Addenda — Miscellany 161-168 

From My Files 169-175 

A Few Bouquets in Passing 177-179 

A Parting Word 180 



[11 



Parti 
Early Life and Education 

I came into the world in the very center of the loveliest 
of Octobers in the year 1846 and immediately found a whole 
township of good Quaker folk and their gentle cousins much 
interested in my arrival. The log house in which I set up my 
court stood in the midst of a young apple orchard a few rods 
distance from my grandparents' commodious brick mansion 
and scarcely farther away from the edge of a beautiful forest 
which lay between us and the little village of Magnolia, Illi- 
nois, a quarter of a mile away. The house had been built for 
the purpose of temporarily accommodating each newly married 
member of the family until a new domicil could be erected in 
the open prairie beyond and the household penates properly 
installed therein. 

Tho my memory fails me utterly with reference to the 
events of the first few years of my life in that dear little home. 
I have had the log house described to me so often and the 
mode of living in it so graphically told me in later years by 
my mother, that many details are as vivid as tho memory 
were reproducing them directly from my own experience 
rather than from her lips. Log houses with one room scantily 
furnished are still so common in the back woods of all parts 
of our country that they need little description to enlighten 
the reader or adorn a tale. Their architecture is so nearly 
alike that a photograph of one would easily pass for any one 
of tens of thousands of them, even tho a coon skin or two 
might be stretched over the logs and an oxbow lean up at the 
corner. And yet when "human beins" have lived in one of 
them for a short time and loved and served and suffered and 
won out or lost in it, it becomes to them so utterly unlike every 
other log house, that half a century afterwards its architectural 
loveliness and domestic conveniences differentiate it and glor- 
ify it above all others of its kith and kin ; just so that little 
cabin among the apple trees was the never failing theme which 
brought a sweet smile to my mother's face and started for 

[13 1 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

the fortieth time perhaps, some dear little story of our busy, 
happy life there, — a life that was unlike the life of any others 
of the billion and a half human beings that lived in cabin or 
castle and so transformed and transfigured it that it will ever 
remain a living, breathing- thing, part and parcel of ourselves, 
and tho the logs have long since crumbled to humus, as im- 
mortal as our spirits. 

Given a fragment of a bone, and Cuvier could reconstruct 
an animal which he had never seen and also describe its habitat 
and life with wonderful accuracy. Likewise, given a splint 
of a log and many of us might construct the house from which 
it came, but its other part, the life, the personality which made 
it somebody's nesting place, somebody's haven of refuge, some- 
body's home, can only be reconstructed by that somebody him- 
self and only from the priceless material which thru the 
long years has been nursing his heart and quickening his life 
with ever increasing vitality, ever increasing affection. But 
even he, tho he be a poet born or a painter bred cannot so con- 
struct it for us that it will seem more than a mere outline, — 
a suggestion for us to fill out and touch up for ourselves. 

My parents came from near Brownsville, Pennsylvania, 
my mother, Mary Ann Mills, having migrated with her father's 
family to Magnolia in 1840, and my father, John Taylor, with 
his father's family to the Griffith neighborhood a few miles 
north in 1842. My mother's parents were members of the 
Society of Friends, her father being a preacher and one of the 
founders of the Clear Creek Meeting, which is still a large and 
influential organization in that locality. My father early af- 
filiated with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Clear 
Creek and continued a consecrated and active leader and elder 
in it and afterward at Wenona during the rest of his life. He 
was an excellent musician for those days, and besides being a 
popular director of country singing schools for several win- 
ters was a valued leader of the singing in the church services 
wherever he attended. He had been an officer in a cavalry 
company in the Pennsylvania militia before coming west and 
his skill as a drill master was invaluable in the executive work 
of many organizations to which he belonged. 

A tradition comes down to us that John Taylor's great 
strength in swinging the cradle in the harvest field, together 
with his genial humor and melodious songs first aroused the 
Quaker maiden's admiration which was not long in developing 
into love as she discovered the sterling worth of the man and 
the rare character of his personality. So fine a spirit as she 
appealed so strongly to his responsive nature that the an- 
nouncement of their banns was long anticipated by their 

[HI 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

friends. Tho the marriage would automatically excommuni- 
cate her from the Friends' Church she did not hesitate a mo- 
ment and in due time united with that of her husband. The 
change however, did not affect her interest in the old church, 
for it abided thru life and in the alternate absence of service 
in the other church our entire family were always in attend- 
ance at the Friends' Church on the First day of the week. 
She used the plain language in talking to us and her letters to 
the end were in it also, much to our gratification and delight. 

Her father Joseph Mills, came to look over that section in 
1839 and was so pleased with it that he persuaded his son Fli 
and wife to come out that fall overland. The others came in 
the Mills-Price steamboat the next spring. 

It has always been a matter of unalloyed joy to me that 
tho the Friends in those days excluded outsiders from the 
privilege of their cemeteries, space was set apart in the Mills' 
family lot for a resting place for my father and mother along- 
side her brothers and sisters, where they now lie under the 
same bed of myrtle that covers them all with its eternal green. 
That joy was heightened to tears when the Old Meeting House 
was thrown open for a brief service as we carried my mother's 
poor body back to the old graveyard for burial, the assurance 
being given that "We are not as we used to be ; God's children 
are all one to us now." We had long known that tho it had 
not been spoken so authoritatively before. 

Until I was fourteen years of age my life was spent in 
that Quaker community and to that fact I owe much of the 
equability of temperament, the reverence for truth, the love 
of peace, the fidelity to higher ideals and the anchorage of an 
abiding faith that have been my safe-guards in opening man- 
hood and in maturer life. With a heritage of good blood, a 
consecrated Christian home and an ideal environment how 
base an ingrate I would have been had the result been other- 
wise. 

I have always been grateful that I was permitted to spend 
my early childhood days in the shadow of the woods before 
mentioned. A hundred rods down the road a clear little stream 
crossed it and disappeared in crooked curves down the beauti- 
ful valley to the southwest. At times it became a roaring tor- 
rent and gave us occasional thrills of danger, varied at other 
times with long days of quiet strolling and happy playing 
along its sloping green banks. Like the Boy of Winander I 
often went as far as I dared alone and lay or sat for hours 
in the "deep, deep" woods, losing myself in them, listening 
to the strange noises of the multifarious life that peopled them 
everywhere and striving to get into touch and tune with it. 

115 1 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

As evening came on I often lingered late, fascinated by the 
still stranger voices that then filled the woods with their 
weird cries and low murmurs, interrupted now and then by 
sharp challenges and harsh growls that often almost paralyzed 
me by their nearness or their intensity, — -all accompanied by 
the subtile sighing of the low winds or the deep moaning of 
the great trees swaying back and forth up and down the val- 
ley. Long* years afterwards, as I would return there for a 
visit, I would slip out at twilight and listen to the same sounds 
as my old friends emerged from their hiding and crept or 
stalked forth thru the lonely woods, thus repeating again and 
again the experiences of my boyhood vigils ; thus gratifying 
the call of the wild which had enticed me into the shades and 
given me my first acquaintance with its mysterious life. To 
these experiences I attribute much of my later love of the 
natural sciences, especially for the life of the woods and fields 
and streams and lakes. 

For some time my parents lived in a small log cottage at 
the Griffith Mill on Clear Creek down the road into the woods 
about two and a half miles from the Friends' church. It was 
a lonely place and my father would often return so late at 
night from his Avork out in the prairie that he would sing some 
familiar song or hymn as he came along so as to let my mother 
know that he was not far away. When I was about four and 
brother Joseph two years of age, we moved out into the prairie 
home, long now owned by Mary Griffith. There sister Isabel 
was born and we two boys had the chicken-pox to a finish. 
Our favorite amusement in the Summer was catching ground 
squirrels with cotton string slip-knots as they peeped out of 
their holes. While living there my mother and I drove over 
to Uncle Pusey Mills' one afternoon where my father w r as en- 
gaged in threshing grain. At the call for supper I saw the 
men stick their pitchforks in the ground, and as I had one in 
my hands attempted to do the same but jabbed a tine thru the 
middle of my foot pinning it to the ground. It gave me con- 
siderable trouble for a few days, but I suppose the lesson was 
worth it. 

In 1854 my father was able to buy a good farm southeast 
of that on which we were living and at once proceeded to erect 
a comfortable home and plant a good orchard on it. After- 
ward he purchased a fine eighty acre tract near the "Prospect" 
house three miles a little north of east, and still later another 
tract diagonally across the road southeast of us. The former 
was very rich land and yielded abundant crops of wheat for 
several years ; the latter was low and flat however, and being 
poorly drained was not so profitable an investment. Later 

I 16 1 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

the Friends erected their meeting house across the road from 
it. The other children were all born in this house, and we 
were blessed with good health, save a serious attack of typhoid 
fever on brother Joe that caused us all much anxiety. 

As my father owned reaping machines and threshers and 
cornshellers alone or in partnership with Uncle Pusey Mills, 
he supplemented his income very materially by serving the 
neighbors for many miles around. At eleven years of age I 
began to accompany him and soon became very useful as a 
factotum and afterwards as a driver of the power horses. 
The experiences of those years, sleeping in all kinds of homes, 
eating all kinds of meals and meeting all kinds of people, with 
increasing responsibility thrown upon me, were worth much in 
opening my eyes and in adapting myself to new situations. 
My father was constantly inventing and testing new improve- 
ments on the machines mentioned in which I always took deep 
interest. Among them were a cob-carrier for cornshellers, a 
two wheeled corn cultivator, the self-raking reaper being the 
climax of his efforts and prompted him to sell the farms and 
move to Wenona for its manufacture. 

As brother Joe and I came on, we were assigned our farm 
chores and very early were driving teams for coal and wood 
and carrying grain to market, weeding and hoeing the garden 
and the corn fields, following the plow, driving the harrow, 
shucking the corn, raking and pitching the hay, binding and 
shocking the small grain like little Trojans, loading and stack- 
ing both as we grew stronger and more capable. In my four- 
teenth year I. was making a full hand binding wheat and keep- 
ing up my section for each return of the reaper that dropped 
the grain behind, which had to be bound and out of the way 
for the team to pass again with the machine. My father and 
Uncle Pusey usually alternated in driving the four horse teams 
drawing it and in raking off the grain in proper sized bundles 
as it dropped on the platform. They were great drivers, and 
as the machines had no reels at first they kept the horses in 
a little trot most of the time, necessitating speedy work on out- 
part and frequent relays of horses. We could hardly be 
blamed for being glad when a hot box or a little accident oc- 
curred, allowing time for throwing ourselves down for a rest 
and often even for a "cat-nap" on a pile of sheaves. I might 
remark that those same men put us thru in the same manner 
from sun-rise to sunset, with an hour off at noon, when run- 
ning threshers and cornshellers. 

These harvesting and threshing events required the pres- 
ence of at least fifteen to twenty-five men and boys to insure 
the most economic results, and it was the custom for eight or 

[ 171 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

ten farmers to unite in cutting and threshing each others' grain 
in rotation as it matured. This brought us together in good 
fellowship for perhaps six or eight weeks, which was always 
heightened by the union around the big tables spread for 
dinner and supper by our hostesses, assisted by their more 
intimate women friends from the neighboring homes. Such 
occasions were anticipated in putting" up fruit, grinding 
sausages, salting meats, smoking hams in the preceding fall 
and winter, and in setting an extra number of hens in the 
early spring and usually kept the housewives busy for weeks 
before in devising and preparing "victuals" for the hungry 
crowds that would demand them. As no stove was large 
enough to cook the vast quantities of food needed, nearly all 
the farmers had capacious outside ovens which were constantly 
in requisition while the gang was to be fed. Food cooked any 
other way has never tasted so good to me. 

It would take pages to describe the loads of tempting 
dishes which the ingenuity and resources of those women 
would provide for us. No wonder that one of our respected 
leaders would sometimes eat so much that a bad colic would 
set him a'groaning before the dinner period was over and thus 
prolong the rest hour materially for us. My father greatly 
enjoyed those meals and more often paid the penalty than his 
partner, but for the reason already mentioned there was 
usually joy when the word was passed around among the men 
that "Uncle John had eaten too much chicken," in which I fear 
I also shared at times. 

Those harvest men were generally great coffee drinkers 
tho many of them drank large amounts of milk and water. 
We were usually supplied also with small or ginger beer, 
which was greatly relished by the hot and thirsty men at meals 
and in the fields. Nothing stronger was ever allowed except 
cider as the apples ripened. As only an occasional farmer put 
up ice, water was provided in jugs hidden in the shade or in 
barrels similarly protected, being renewed from the wells as 
it became warm. 

After many trips with my ciders with loads of grain and 
live-stock, to the markets at Hennepin, Hall's Landing, Henry, 
LaSalle and Peru, I would occasionally be trusted to take a 
load of grain to market myself, a mark of confidence which 
made me keenly sensitive of my responsibility and taught me 
some valuable lessons. Those were the days of wild-cat cur- 
rency and a man might have his pockets full of good bank 
notes at night to wake in the morning to find them absolutely 
worthless. Every business man took a bank-note Reporter 
which he consulted daily and yet that did not always protect 

\ 18 1 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

him. The business situation was deplorable beyond concep- 
tion and relief came only with the new national financial 
system evolved by the national government after the opening 
of the Civil War. 

Of course there was considerable silver and gold coin in 
circulation, but cautious people were hoarding it in such quan- 
tities that it further embarrassed every variety of barter and 
exchange. All kinds of commodities especially the products 
of the farm sold at such ridiculously low prices as hardly paid 
for hauling them to market. I have seen a wagon load of 
corn sell for a silver dollar and a bushel of wheat for a quarter. 
In the summer of 1860, I w r as sent to Peru alone with a load of 
wdieat and instructed by my father not to accept any money 
but gold and silver for it. The buyer to whom he usually 
sold his grain gave me a ticket specifying the price which the 
cashier should pay me, but said nothing about the kind of 
money I was to receive. I was smart enough to know what 
that meant and asked him to specify coin, which he did with 
evident hesitation. 

Shortly after moving into that new farm home, traveling 
photographers began to appear to exploit the wonderful 
camera which had been invented a few years before and at 
last perfected so as to take most accurate and lifelike portraits 
with a brief exposure. They proved quite a sensation and 
almost everybody patronized them. One of them rented a 
room at Uncle Henry's and was kept very busy for several 
days making daguerrotypes and ambrotypes. The excellent 
portraits of my father alone, and of my mother, my brother 
Joe and myself together, were taken at that time. Now nearly 
seventy years after, they are surprisingly well preserved as 
are many of those handed down to the children and grand- 
children of thousands of thoughtful parents. 

One of the delightful experiences of my early life was the 
visits to the home of my Grandmother Mills on the margin 
of the woods already mentioned. Grandfather Mills died 
August 24, 1847, and Uncle Abel Mills, as the youngest son 
took charge of farm affairs and made a good home for his 
mother. In the late fall and winter the capacious attic would 
always be filled with apples, pears, and nuts, the former filling- 
it with a fragrance that whetted the appetite to an irresistible 
degree and never failed to draw us back again before long. 
In the early spring the fine sugar camp across the creek was 
even more attractive to us and we planned to be present at the 
sugaring off times with great punctiliousness. How shall I 
describe a boy's ecstacy as he fills his mouth with a cube of 
bread soaked in maple syrup, or holds a lump of maple sugar 

[ 19 1 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

on his tongue while it slowly dissolves and trickles down his 
throat or chews maple wax until every last vestige of it is 
swallowed over several times? I never yet have seen a boy 
at a sugar camp who was not always ready for more. I then 
thought Uncle Abel was rather stingy in doling it out to us : 
I now know that he was very generous for there would have 
been little left had he satisfied us greedy children. 

My father added to his other labor saving inventions a 
two-horse double shovel corn cultivator, by which he could 
cultivate the soil on both sides of a row at once, thus doubling 
the number of acres one man could cultivate in a day. My 
Grandfather Samuel Taylor still used a broad single shovel 
one-horse plow for cultivating his corn even tho the double- 
shovel had been in use for some time, declaring it impossible 
to raise and lay away the corn the last time as successfully 
"with the new fangled machine my son John is using." He 
handled almost every hill of corn in his field, so that it was 
hand-raised, which could not well be done with the new in- 
vention. It was confessed that he usually had the best corn 
in the country and would often poke fun at his "more up-to- 
date neighbors." 

We suffered from two serious fires there, one of them 
burning our combined grain house and shop which stood but 
a few rods from the corner of our house and a few yards 
from the ash-hopper standing against a fence which connected 
the two. Some live coals had been put into the hopper in 
the morning with the ashes, which had been fanned into a 
flame by a brisk wind coming up after we had retired. My 
mother happened to waken about one o'clock next morning 
and saw the fire and aroused the household. By the time we 
were out and at it, many neighbors were arriving, but the only 
thing that could be done was to save the house which was 
accomplished with much difficulty. I had been pulled out of 
bed and started off" so quickly to arouse our hands at the 
tenant's house a hundred yards away that on reaching a big 
ditch I tumbled down into it, waking up fully for the first time. 

The second fire burned several stacks of oats which we 
had just finished in the field and had plowed around in order 
to protect them. Our neighbor, John Howard, on the south 
had carelessly fired his stubble with the wind toward our farm 
and everything being very dry it swept along at a wild rate, 
jumping thru his fences and over our protecting furrows 
so quickly that it could not be stopped. I remember that I 
asked my father whether we would have to suffer the loss. 
His reply is worth recording: "No, my son, Mr. Howard 
knows he is to blame. He is an honest man and will repay 

r 20 n 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

me," which he did. Long afterwards I found this passage in 
Exodus XXII, 6: 

"If fire breaks out and catch in thorns, so that the 
stacks of corn or the standing corn, or the field be 
consumed therewith; he that kindleth the fire shall 
surely make restitution." 

When I was in my ninth year my father left the thresher 
fully geared to haul off the grain threshed the day before. I 
rallied the other children to finish up the work and pulled and 
pushed the spur-wheel mashing into the cylinder pinion in such 
a way as to run my right thumb in also, hence the loss of half 
of it to my deep sorrow. 

There lived in the edge of the woods a man who in some 
ways seemed to have been born short. He had an industrious 
wife and several bright children, was a sort of Jack of all 
trades, and usually had plenty of work in his "specialties." 
He enjoyed fishing and hunting and other pastimes that were, 
not conducive to thrift, and even in that charitable and demo- 
cratic community was always a little off color socially. He 
was very popular with the children of all classes, who greatly 
enjoyed excursions to the woods with him in search of wild 
fruits and nuts of all kinds of which in those days there was 
great abundance for those "who knew where to find them.'' 
He felt keenly his responsibility for their safety and his in- 
fluence over them was wholesome and helpful. X T o father or 
mother ever had more loyal co-operation in the training of 
their children than he gave us on these trips to tire woods. 
We were sometimes inclined to follow his advice and sugges- 
tions rather than those coming from our parents themselves, 
and many virtues or graces in our make-up are there more 
surely because of him. He had a very homely way of putting- 
things, but they were no less attractive to us because of that. 
A single illustration must suffice. 

One day in August he was our guide in a blackberry hunt. 
As usual he gave each of us a small pail and told us to go ahead 
of him, rounding up at the wagon as we grew tired. On our 
return eight or ten of us poured our pickings into a large pail 
scarcely filling it with mostly inferior berries, while he came 
with the same sized pail piled high with large, lustrous 
beauties that put ours to shame. We asked him wdiere he 
found them. He replied that he simply followed along after 
us gathering what Ave had left. Seeing that we were very 
skeptical, he said: "You think you left none, but I tell you 
the truth. You gathered simply those in sight most of them 
being small and imperfect as you see. Many of them had been 

[21 1 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

bitten by the birds and insects or had been burned by the hot 
sun, while those which were under the leaves have been out 
of sight of the birds and protected from the sun thus insuring 
their natural ripening. I quietly slipped my hands under the 
leaves as I followed you and this big luscious pailful is the re- 
sult. At the start I told you to look under the leaves, but you 
soon forgot it and hastened along just like most other children 
do." Then he generously shared his berries with us, and more 
than one chick had something to think about for several days 
afterwards. I had occasion recently to pay him an affection- 
ate tribute in a little address to my old friends there. 

One October day in 1858, a pleasant looking Knight of the 
Road came to the door of our home and asked for some clothes. 
My mother replied very positively that if he would work as 
hard as her husband he would not be begging for clothes. He 
said that he would be pleased to work but had been unable to 
find anything to do. After a word or two further, she told him 
that her husband was needing a hand and invited him to re- 
main until he returned from Peru where he had gone with a 
load of grain That evening a contract was made, and early 
the next morning he was making the frosty ears fly in the corn 
held at a brisk rate. This was his story : 

He had gone to California over-land with the "Forty- 
Niners" in company with a friend and they had been very for- 
tunate in their mining ventures. Two years before, with 
about forty thousand dollars in gold tucked about their per- 
sons and hidden in their bags, they had taken ship for New 
York via Cape Horn, but having been shipwrecked off Nicar- 
agua and washed ashore with but a few thousand dollars 
strapped about their persons, they were robbed by Walker and 
his Filibusters and impressed into one of their marauding 
bands. 

After a few months' begrudged service he had succeeded 
in escaping and was working his way back to his old home in 
Indiana. He gave his name as William, was a good worker, 
and soon became one of our most trusted men. He was 
withal an interesting story teller and we never tired of hear- 
ing of his adventures in the AVest and in Central America. 
Finding us such good listeners he proposed to get Prescott's 
Conquest of Mexico out of the town library and read for us in 
the evenings after the chores w r ere finished. One of the pleas- 
antest recollections of my life on the farm is of that family 
group around the blazing fire, listening to William reading 
Prescott's thrilling stories of Mexico and Peru and to his 
explanations and comments on them. 

The winder was a severe (me with frequent blizzards and 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

heavy snow drifts shutting us in, but the entertainment and 
instruction thus furnished us, young and old, could scarcely 
have been duplicated elsewhere within that congressional dis- 
trict. No choice company listening to "Twice Told Tales," 
to "The Tales of a Wayside Inn" or to the "Arabian Nights 
Entertainment" could have been more charmed and delighted 
than we. Then and there under the spell of that scholarly 
wanderer was aroused in me a love for history and biography 
that has never abated. We were reminded that in entertain- 
ing strangers people do sometimes really entertain angels. 

When the corn was planted in the spring, that restless 
spirit told my father that he was so homesick he must move 
on to visit his people in Indiana. He insisted that while he 
lacked money enough to pay his fare he "knew how to make 
it anyhow" and must decline the small loan that my father 
offered, "for I may never be able to repay you, Mr. Taylor." 
My father, however, declared his abiding confidence in him 
and practically forced him to take it, remarking that if he 
ever reached home, he knew it would be sent back. It never 
came nor did we ever hear a word from him, which con- 
vinced my father that some fatality overcame him, for he was 
satisfied that he was more of an angel than some folks he 
knew who made great pretentions. There are two sermons in 
this story either one of which ought to be found easily enough. 

Tho that Quaker neighborhood was so peaceful and pros- 
perous, it lay along dense woods on the west which extended 
from eight to ten miles to the Illinois River, many parts of 
which were inhabited by people of a totally different charac- 
ter who frequently quarreled much with each other and de- 
pended largely on hunting, fishing, foraging and pilfering for 
their living. They were a lawless set and harbored and abetted 
migratory bands of horse thieves and cattle pullers who would 
appear semi-occasionally and arouse the whole countryside by 
their daring depredations, disappearing with new plunder as 
completely as if the earth had swallowed them up. Cold 
blooded murder and other almost incredible outrages on fam- 
ilies living along the edge of the wood had been but too com- 
mon in the earlier years, which had furnished many blood 
curdling chapters for a yellow border history of the Banditti 
of the Prairies issued in the fifties. Often as I rode with my 
father to Hennepin or Henry alongside and into those same 
woods, he would pick up an old settler and as we approached 
places where such incidents occurred, they would go over them 
so vividly that tho I leaned close to them with interest, I 
clung still closer as we passed by "the exact spot where the 
dare-devils got in their dirty work." 

[23 1 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

During those same years, the Indian depredations had 
now and then made the settlers considerable trouble and the 
stories just mentioned would be made even more lurid and 
fearsome by including some of their wild and sanguinary ex- 
cursions. As the prairies and the woods became more thickly 
settled with resolute law abiding citizens, the lawless element 
either confined themselves to petty offences or moved on west 
and the National Government removed the Indians to happier 
hunting grounds in the same direction. 

In this connection it may be well to mention the fact that 
the woods and prairies were filled with wild game in great 
variety which kept us well supplied with fresh meat for a 
good part of each year ; the streams also furnishing fish in 
abundance in season. Wild strawberries generous in quan- 
tity and very toothsome grew all over the prairies, while wild 
cherries, blackberries, pawpaws, grapes, plums, crab apples, 
haws, elderberries, gooseberries, hazel nuts, walnuts, and 
butternuts, were to be had everywhere in the woods for the 
picking, so that nearly every provident family usually had 
enough and to spare. No other kind of a holiday could be 
more enjoyable to us than the days devoted to berrying, nut- 
ting, and fishing. Often Ave returned from the woods in the 
evening with several big washtubs and baskets filled with 
luscious plums and dark blue grapes gorged with rich, blood- 
red meat impatient to break through their already yielding 
coats. A wagon box practically full of unhulled nuts was not 
an infrequent reward for our labors. 

Our principal food game was prairie chicken, quail, ducks, 
geese, pigeons, rabbits, squirrels and deer, the birds mentioned 
often appearing in vast numbers. On a frosty or snowy morn- 
ing my father could frequently stand on our door-step and 
with his rifle as easily pick prairie chickens off the fences 
and trees nearby as he could knock over a tame chicken in 
the barnyard. I have seen hundreds of them at such a time 
and in such places quietly nestling and waiting for the sun 
to warm them so they could fly the more easily. Few of us 
could arouse them with the crack of a rifle without some com- 
punctions of conscience as we saw those graceful, inoffensive 
creatures tumble to the ground. The abundance with which 
a far-seeing Creator provided food for pioneer settlements was 
never more generous than in that neck-o the woods in Illinois. 

In season the migratory pigeons would come and roost 
on the trees and bushes in the edge of the woods in quantities 
incredible to latter-day hunters, some good judges declaring 
they numbered several hundred thousand while others were 
so bold as to mention a million. So sluggish were these birds 

[24 1 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

in their slumbers after a day's flight that they were easily 
picked and clubbed in equally incredible quantities for future 
use. 

Wolves, foxes, panthers, catamounts, skunks and musk- 
rats were at times very numerous, and once at least every 
year it became necessary to supplement the work of the in- 
dividual hunters of these dangerous night prowlers and thieves 
by a general hunt and round-up in which the residents of a 
designated section, from five to ten miles across, would join. 
Very early in the morning all would quietly go to the outskirts 
of agreed territory and sufficiently near each other to prevent 
the wild animals from escaping to their rear, march slowly 
to the center, beating the bushes, scanning the trees, explor- 
ing the tall grass and probing every suspected haunt on the 
way. Everybody was provided with several kinds of arms 
from a butcher knife or a corn cutter to a double barreled shot- 
gun, not omitting huge clubs and steel pointed poles. Dogs 
from the little rat terrier to almost every variety of hound, and 
small boys, who could scarcely straddle a horse, armed with 
horns and whistles vied with the hunters and dogs in making 
an indescribable din that was intended to make every "dogoned 
varmint" think that judgment day had come and flee to the 
doomed slaughter pen at the center. 

Toward noon some of the avengers of many a lost fowl, 
or shoat or lamb or colt or dog or perhaps something more 
valuable would arrive on the margin of the open field set apart 
for the carnage and await the coming of their companions 
from other directions. In the interim the frightened animals, 
including many very harmless ones, rushed back and forth in 
terror as the deadly cordon closed around them. Their cries 
and growls and snarls added to the awful din which was also 
increased by the discharge of guns fired to turn them back as 
they attempted to escape thru some apparent break in the line, 
tho most of the harmless animals, if not in season for the table, 
were encouraged to do so. The killing complete, the side 
counting up the most pelts was declared the victor and a 
grand barbeque wound up the day. My father was usually 
an active leader in these round-ups. 

That community was composed very largely of the Mills 
and Taylor families and of other families with whom they were 
related before moving to Illinois or with whom they soon 
inter-married after their arrival. So, from Magnolia, almost 
to Granville, five miles north and from the Oxbow to Mt. 
Palatine, nearly as many miles northeast, there was a very 
homogeneous people, sober, industrious, progressive, religious, 
who not only soon transformed that virgin soil into prductive 

\2S } 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

and prosperous farms, but made it one of the most ideal 
communities in which to live in the whole Mississippi Valley. 
In speaking of it in 1890, my Uncle Joshua L. Mills said: "In 
all these fifty years, there has not been a murder committed 
within its borders, nor scarcely a single physical encounter; 
no one of the citizens ever became an habitual user of intoxi- 
cating liquors, or if he did so to a marked degree, found the 
climate too cold for him and moved on ; no family ever suffered 
for lack of food or clothing or comfortable housing, no divorce? 
tore families apart in all that time ; but two mortgages had 
been foreclosed and that could have been prevented in both 
cases had the mortgagors but confided their embarrassment 
to a few of their personal friends." 

They were early recognized as having the best schools 
in that part of the State and were known far and wide for their 
hospitality to strangers and for their honorable dealings with 
their fellow-men. They furnished many active members of 
the Know-Nothing, or American Party Club of Magnolia in 
the late fifties. Almost to a man they were ardent anti-slav- 
ery advocates and the Underground Railway on which negro 
slaves from the South escaped to Canada had a well stocked 
station, with several sub-stations for use when needed, in or 
near some good Quaker home. Many of them were independ- 
ents in politics but naturally voted the Republican ticket in 
the sixties and seventies, tho they often made their power felt 
by going bodily over to the opposing party as they feared they 
were being betrayed by their leaders. 

Today the John Swaney Consolidated School embraces a 
large part of the original pioneer school district of the forties, 
which for nearly fifty years had been divided into three or 
four single districts, and which is known as the most nearly 
ideally housed, equipped, organized and conducted rural school 
in the country. Practically the first of its kind, it became the 
pioneer and model of hundreds of others which are revolution- 
izing the rural schools and multiplying their efficiency many 
fold. It is located on an ideal site of twenty acres of beautiful 
woodland across the creek north, perhaps a hundred rods from 
the little brick of the fifties which long ago had been demol- 
ished and replaced by a frame building now used for other 
purposes, and is attended by a fine body of young people many 
of whom come from outside the district, gladly paying the 
required fee 

When I was introduced to a commencement audience there 
a few years ago, to deliver the address to the graduating class, 
I called it the proudest day of my life, for as stated elsewhere, 
over sixty years before, I had toddled into the little brick 

[ 26 1 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

school-house just mentioned and enrolled as a pupil there. 
After a few feeling words of reminiscence, I recited a couple 
of stanzas of the old song: 

"I've wandered to the village, Tom, 

I've sat beneath the tree 
Upon the school-house playing ground 

That sheltered you and me : 
But none were there to greet me, Tom, 

For few are left you know, 
Who played with us upon the green 

Some sixty years ago." 

It happened that there were eight of the hinders who were 
pupils in the brick with me that first term present, four of them 
from the Wilson family. 

Being a Man of peace "from my earliest childhood" and 
always considering that it often takes more courage to keep 
out of a brawl than to get into one, I was occasionally subject 
to the imputation of cowardice which however, never disturbed 
me much, for my self-possession seldom lost me more than I 
could have gained by victory in a personal encounter and gave 
me a reputation for self-control that combined with a high 
regard for the rights of others made me friends among all 
classes of my fellows. Being also possessed of fairly good 
muscle I usually disparaged quarrels in more ways than one 
so that a tight seldom occurred in our croAvd of boys, and even 
that usually came to a very sudden end, with proper apologies 
and "mutual protestations of high regard." 

That same general policy afterward enabled me to manage 
my students and my boards and faculties with much less fric- 
tion and more than average success. Mindful of my own short- 
comings, I Avas always kindly and sympathetically disposed 
towards offenders of all kinds and sought to influence them by 
appeals to their higher natures, a policy which was often mis- 
taken as indicating a lowering of my own ideals by those who 
knew only heroic methods in treating such cases. When 
milder methods failed however, they quickly learned that the 
quality of mercy had suddenly changed and that the ideals 
had not wavered in the least. 

My father served a full apprenticeship at the tanner's trade 
in Uniontown, Pennsylvania which developed a natural me- 
chanical and inventive endowment that served him well among 
the pioneers in Magnolia township, for they kept him very 
busy in odd hours and during much of each winter season in 
repairing their farm machinery and shoeing their horses. He 
was a thrifty farmer himself and maintained a well equipped 
shop for making his own repairs as well as for their accommo- 

[27 1 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

elation. He usually had a wagon, a buggy or some machine in 
process of rebuilding, and so not only lost no time even in the 
worst weather, but had a profitable avocation which supple- 
mented the income from his farms and kept him in ready 
money. It was a common remark among his employes that 
"There is no time for play at Uncle John's." I served a pretty 
fair apprenticeship in the shop myself as well as in the fields 
before I was fourteen years old which I have always consid- 
ered as a fortunate experience. 

In about 1858 he invented a self-raking reaper which 
dropped the sheaves behind in excellent condition, but which 
required the binders to be distributed so as to keep the way 
clear for the next succeeding round of the machine. It how- 
ever, attracted widespread attention and was easily attached 
to a few hand-raking reapers then in the neighborhood that 
gave such excellent satisfaction that he decided to sell his 
farms and establish a factory for their manufacture at Wenona. 
He associated with himself a first class mechanic as superin- 
tendent of the woodworking department, and tho making a 
large number of them the first year was unable to meet the de- 
mands that came to him from all quarters. 

For some unaccountable reason his partner refused to 
join with him in promoting and extending the business for the 
succeeding year and by the time he could relieve himself of 
the incubus, the McCormick self-raker, throwing the sheaf 
outside the path of the horses coming the next round had been 
perfected, and his opportunity was lost and improvement ham- 
pered by the McCormick patent. He was forced therefore 
to content himself with a restricted out-put and gradually 
turned his attention to the development of other inventions 
and manufactures. 

It was in connection with this business that I became 
more expert as a mechanic and as his associate and book- 
keeper attained a practical knowledge of business affairs that 
could not be gained in the schools. 

My father's military training in the Pennsylvania militia, 
being an officer in a cavalry company, quickened a patriotism 
that was second only to his religion and national holidays were 
celebrated by him with unrestrained enthusiasm. In lieu of 
a cannon, he saluted the rising sun on each Fourth of July 
morning with a round of anvil solos that could be heard for 
miles away and called the patriots of all ages to join in the 
salvos with fire-crackers and guns of various descriptions. 

As elsewhere stated, he had been originally a democrat 
and in the campaign for the United States senatorship from 
Illinois, loyally supported Stephen A. Douglas in opposition 

[28] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

to Abraham Lincoln. The organized torchlight companies 
thruout the western states were known respectively as the 
"Every-Readys" and the "Wide-Awakes." Their uniforms 
consisted of oil-cloth capes and caps which served to protect 
them from the oil dripping from their lamps and gave them 
a combined soldier and fire-fighters' appearance that was very 
effective in day or night marches, particularly when thousands 
of them would come together for some great mass meeting 
where some master spirit was to discuss the issues of the day 
and expound his party's platform. The brilliant torchlight 
parades at night, accompanied by brass bands and reinforced 
by gorgeous displays of fireworks always attracted immense 
crowds and kindled unbounded enthusiasm. 

The men who furnished the money for these affairs were 
seldom found in the torchlight processions, tho they would 
usually appear in the business and professional men's "Auxil- 
iaries" dressed in long linen dusters and stove-pipe hats, act- 
ing as escorts thru the principal streets. They soon disap- 
peared however, and mingled Avith the assembled throngs or 
held conferences with the speakers and campaign managers in 
committee rooms at party headquarters or at the leading 
hotels. 

I perked around as an Every-Ready a little and helped 
to encourage the "Little Giant" and his aids by vociferous ap- 
plause at the psychological moment. The low rumblings of the 
coming Civil War were often heard in that campaign and gave 
it a seriousness that is almost totally absent in these modern 
days. The enthusiasm that at times almost amounted to a 
frenzy and prompted frequent drills and long trips to make big 
campaign demonstrations so that many of the companies be- 
came well acquainted with military tactics and went thru the 
army evolutions with an accuracy and a precision that was 
scarcely excelled by the government troops. 

My father had seen a great light with the opening of the 
campaign for the presidential election in 1860 and decided to 
vote for Lincoln. As a dutiful son I flopped also and become 
as ardent a Wide-Awake as the exigencies of the times de- 
manded. The torchlight organizations of the previous cam- 
paign spread over the entire nation and in many sections the 
tension was appalling almost beyond description, the split in 
the democratic party making it fiercely bitter in many of the 
States along both sides of Mason and Dixon's line. The smoke 
of the senatorial battle in Illinois had scarcely cleared away 
until that of the new contest enveloped the whole country. 
The seriousness and earnestness of the former was but a pass- 

[29 1 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

ing emotion compared with that of the latter which it had 
really set aflame. 

The drills and demonstrations so effective in the Illinois 
campaign now became powerful adjuncts in all the parties and 
were worked for all they were worth. Little did those "truth 
bearers" realize that they were in a way playing soldier then 
and that with the breaking out of a bloody fratricidal war a 
few months later, multitudes of them would find themselves 
well fitted to take their places as real soldiers in the volunteer 
armies that flocked to the support of their respective govern- 
ments, not only in the ranks but as company and even regi- 
mental officers and that some of them would soon attain to 
fame as generals and commanders of great armies. 

The feverish condition of the country at large as the time 
approached for the inauguration of the "Black Republican 
President Lincoln," as the fire-eaters from the South derisively 
called him, can hardly be appreciated by the present genera- 
tion, how r ever graphically described. In many sections it was 
scarcely less intense than it was along the Scottish borders 
during the reign of Bloody Mary. 

The great comet which had appeared hardly a year before, 
had terrorized the ignorant and superstitious masses, North 
and South and loosened the tongues of seers and prophets to 
an alarming degree. The latter declared that great flame of 
fire, shaped like an immense oriental broadsword which at mid- 
night extended almost entirely across the northwest quadrant 
of the heavens, to be the avenging sword of the Lord, and also 
predicted war and pestilence and death, the overturning of 
kingdoms and the destruction of the world, some of them 
divining in it the wrath of God upon our country for the awful 
crime of human slavery. The excitement of the political 
campaign mentioned had made most people forget those dis- 
tressing forebodings, but now they returned to reinforce and 
deepen the gloom of all classes, the more thoughtful being the 
more profoundly concerned. 

With the successful inauguration of Lincoln and the at- 
tack on Fort Sumter, the heat, and venom and rancor, and ten- 
sion which had been so assiduously aroused and stimulated 
by every device known to human ingenuity suddenly increased 
ten-fold and under the talismanic name of patriotism con- 
verted our peaceful land into a vast battlefield and one of 
the most bloody fratricidal wars in all history was on with 
such fury that its moral motif made its titanic struggles un- 
paralleled among" modern nations. 

The response to the call of the President for volunteers 
to defend the Union was immediate and general, even in 

I 30 I 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

nearly all of the border southern states, almost every hamlet 
offering its quota many times over. 

Stephen A. Douglas, true patriot as he was, declared for 
the preservation of the Union, and party lines in the North 
almost entirely disappeared so that Democrats and Republi- 
cans vied with each other in professions of loyalty and devo- 
tion. Space does not permit me to go into the details of these 
most deplorable and yet most glorious years in our history. 
1 no too young to meet the requirements for entrance into the 
army, I was wild with the spirit of the day and was hardly 
restrained at the later calls from running away with my older 
friends in the hope of acceptance along with them. I kept up 
a regular correspondence with some of them in the service and 
thus supplemented the newspaper accounts of the different 
battles and campaigns with reports from the ranks that were 
always interesting and enlightening. 

That war was the making of the American daily news- 
paper. Millions of people who had before been content with, 
the weekly paper, were now so solicitous about news from 
the front that presses could not at first begin to supply the 
demand for the dailies. There were few newspaper or even 
magazine stands in those days outside the large cities, and 
other localities were compelled to depend upon the railway 
newsboys for their supply. Farmers for many miles around 
every railway station would flock about it to buy the morning 
paper, glad to pay double or triple the regular price as the 
supply became low. After a great battle I often saw crowds 
of men, women, and boys almost fighting each other in order 
to get a paper, being glad to pay anything the train boy would 
ask, which was not infrequently twenty-five or even fifty cents. 
The demand would often be so great at the earlier stations 
reached by the trains carrying papers that thousands could not 
be supplied later on. The man lucky enough to secure a paper 
would quickly be surrounded by a crowd and forced to read 
even the smallest detail aloud. At such times business would 
be suspended in the stores, and men would stop working in 
the shops and factories until the latest news was announced 
and gratification or disappointment expressed. When it is 
remembered that personal friends or relatives were likely to 
be participating in any battle, the breathless interest aroused 
can easily be understood. 

Hardly any one could have read those papers more eagerlv 
or followed up the progress of the war with all of its attendant 
political moves than I. The Chicago Tribune became my 
oracle then and has continued to be in my mind the greatest 
and most reliable newspaper on the continent, and tho not al- 

[ 31 1 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

ways able to follow it in some of its political aberrations, I 
have been a regular reader of it for over fifty years. When it 
broke with its party on the tariff question and the Inter-Ocean 
was established to preserve the faith once delivered to the 
saints, it lost a large proportion of its patrons and suffered 
heavily financially. Tho bravely consistent thruout the cam- 
paign, it occasionally referred disdainfully to its rival, the 
Inter-Ocean, as "the paper which parted its name in the mid- 
dle" which responded by naming the Tribune as "the paper 
that parted its subscription list in the middle." 

I well remember the day when the papers announced that 
the threatened emancipation proclamation had been issued by 
President Lincoln. It shocked the conservatism of my father, 
who along with many other Union men in the North seriously 
doubted its wisdom and opportuneness. The methods of con- 
ducting the war had aroused considerable criticism in many 
quarters, and the Democrats carried several state elections in- 
cluding Illinois, Mr. John O. Dent, afterwards my father-in- 
law being elected to the legislature partly on that issue. 

The assassination of President Lincoln, however, brought 
universal condemnation of that dastardly act thruout the North 
and even in nearly all parts of the South, for his reconstruc- 
tion policy had been so considerate and so conciliatory that 
he had immediately won its respect and confidence. On re- 
ceipt of the news in our village it quickly spread thruout the 
surrounding country and the main street was soon a scene 
of the wildest confusion and disorder. Strong men met each 
other with tears and sobs ; women gathered in groups silently 
weeping. All sorts of startling rumors gained currency firing 
the fury of the mob, ready to find almost any excuse to wreak 
vengeance on anybody who was not boldly outspoken in con- 
demning the assassin. It was my first sight of a wild mob, 
and even tho I knew that it was mostly composed of the most 
peaceful men in our community I was greatly relieved when it 
quieted down and dispersed. It was a miniature epitome of 
what occurred everywhere tho uncontrollable riots broke oui 
in some of the larger cities. It was amazing how quickly the 
quiet transfer of authority at Washington to the Vice Presi- 
dent begot confidence and restored tranquility thruout the 
land. 

Tho living a mile and a quarter out on the prairie from 
the little red brick Clear Creek school house, I entered it in 
my sixth year and reports show that I was a very diligent 
pupil, becoming an expert speller before the age of ten. At 
one of the spelling bees there, all of the contestants had been 
spelled down except two men and myself. The excitement 

[32 1 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

was intense and some one lifted me up on a chair as the fun 
went merrily on. Both of them soon missed a big word which 
I picked up, instantly becoming the hero of the occasion. A 
friend confided this incident to me recently, and I promptly 
confessed that I would fear to enter such a contest now. 

The teacher at that time was Augusta Reniff, afterwards 
Mrs. Johnson Brown of Wenona, a woman of such beautiful 
spirit and tact that she easily made warm friends of us all. 
She was familiar with Solomon's observations on the rod, for 
it was not spared when necessary. I do not remember that 
I was ever given corporal punishment by any other teacher, 
and by her but once. Four of us small boys were entertaining 
ourselves by looking at each other thru our fingers and tho 
promptly warned to desist tried it just once more as she was 
looking in another direction. Having a "third eye," however, 
she called us forward and switched us in pairs. Tho the phy- 
sical pain was ridiculously slight, the disgrace was keenly felt 
and the lesson effective. 

Later on a fine frame school house was built three-fourths 
of a mile southeast of our home for a newly organized district 
called Center, Its pupils were made up largely from Wilson, 
Mills, Taylor and Tomlinson families who occupied most of the 
land within its bounds, nearly all of them being of the Quaker 
faith and zealous advocates of universal education of the better 
sort. Among my teachers there were John Downey, Carver 
Tomlinson, Henry K. Smith, and Elizabeth Wilson. The sec- 
ond named taught me how to write. Being a rare penman 
himself and writing our copies for us, he awakened great en- 
thusiasm for that graceful art. The third was a natural artist 
and painted bis own prizes for excellence one of which "For a 
good boy'' I still preserve. Tho all were good teachers, "Aunt 
Lib" who later married Uncle Abel Mills, probably secured 
more earnest work from us than the others because of her 
gentleness and sympathetic way of doing things. 

That school-house became quite a civic center in those 
days and the lyceums, spelling matches and literary meetings 
thru the fall and winter were largely attended by all classes 
of people. The slavery question was a fertile topic for de- 
bate and always attracted a large crowd. The most extreme 
speakers on that theme were my father, then a democrat, and 
Carver Tomlinson so vehement an abolitionist that he declared 
he would never go to the polls to vote until the negro was 
freed and given that right also. When those two crossed 
hatchets the sparks flew. 

Those wordy encounters were not very well understood 
by me and I began to fear personal harm to my father. Imag- 

[ M 1 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

ine my joy one morning on hearing one of my uncles say 
"John and Carver buried the hatchet last night after another 
heated discussion at the lyceum." I knew that it meant peace, 
but took it too literally and planned at once to find where 
they had buried it and to hide it where neither could find it 
again, thus making their peace permanent. Little did any of 
us realize how soon the negro and Carver would be voting 
together and what a momentous contributory force these same 
lyceums and debating clubs thruout the country had been in 
educating the conscience of the masses and in bringing the 
great revolution about. 

During several years preceding our migration to Wenona 
there was much sickness in our section and along the lowlands 
on either side, of the Illinois river, fever and ague and malarial 
fever being quite prevalent. Typhoid fever occasionally deso- 
lated a home, my grandfather Mills and two aunts, Sarah and 
Martha Mills, dying with it in 1847. My brother Joe had a 
narrow escape, thanks to cold water baths, a wise physician, 
and the best nurse in the world, my mother. Diphtheria be- 
came epidemic in the early sixties, my cousin Alonzo Taylor, 
a lovely boy. being a victim. These diseases were for several 
years quite common and often virulent, especially in the un- 
drained prairies between our neighborhood and the Vermilion 
River also, — shallow surface wells being charged with con- 
tributing to them. The progressive physicians finally won out, 
quinine making that section of Illinois a garden spot in the 
Mississippi Valley. 

The Civil War, terrible as it was, stimulated popular edu- 
cation, the national government land grants to the different 
States making it possible to finance the necessary buildings 
and teachers generally as needed. 

In moving to Wenona at the age of fourteen I still found 
it easy to retain my relative scholastic standing in its schools, 
and I was soon admitted to the high school which then oc- 
cupied a large room in the Adelbert Hotel, owned by my 
uncle Samuel J. Taylor. The principal was A. B. Cummings, 
a man of rather unusual parts, who kept things going at an 
interesting pace every minute of the day, and who did some 
fine teaching for us. He had but one eye, and yet that eye 
was as useful as three or four ordinary teacher's eyes and when 
an offending student was caught in the act, his athletic ability 
quickly revealed itself. He frequently gave me an encourag- 
ing word which spurred me on to more earnest endeavor. 
Having about completed the courses offered there, I was sent 
to the Illinois State Normal University in the fall of 1864, 
continuing for two terms. I shall never cease to be grateful 

[34 1 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

for the exacting character of the training I received there. 
Tho it required much memorizing and a vast amount of 
mechanical detail, it developed systematic habits of study 
and organization at the very time in my life when most 
needed, and it has dominated my methods in everything I 
have since undertaken. The influence of the men and women 
in the faculty was potent in quickening my vision and in 
stimulating endeavor, while the president, Richard Edwards, 
led them all in his ripe scholarship, intense zeal, and forceful 
manner. John W. Cook, who was then just beginning his 
teaching career, placed me under greater obligations for his 
sympathetic interest and helpful way of doing things than any 
one else. He was the first schoolmaster I had yet met who 
was also a man of affairs and at home in any circle. Our 
friendship has grown with the years, and his advice and 
counsel have been invaluable on many occasions. 

It was while at the Normal that my mother's letters were 
more fruitful than at any other period of my life in wholesome 
suggestions and affectionate appeals for the things that make 
for righteous living and true manhood. Her abiding con- 
fidence in my integrity was a powerful factor in helping me 
to remember and observe her injunctions. She was an ex- 
cellent English scholar and a graceful writer, hence she used 
few words in expressing her ideas. That she knew how to 
advise a youth sympathetically, this extract from one of her 
letters will show : 

"I am greatly pleased with the marked improvement in 
thy penmanship, but disappointed in thy rhetoric. As an 
example, thee is inclined to use the same word frequently in 
close connection when a synonym could be well used or the 
sentence reconstructed. I hope soon to see as much change 
in thy rhetoric as in thy writing. 

Do not spend all thy time in study, but go into society 
more. Seek the companionship of refined young women. 
They will give thee higher ideals of life and help thee to ap- 
preciate them. If thee is needing more money at any time, 
write us promptly and we will send it to thee." 

As my environment had been changing and enlarging, 
I had come into contact with an increasing number of peo- 
ple, old and young, whose training and ideals differed greatly 
from mine, and some of whom were already forming habits 
that sooner or later might lead to their undoing. Tho not 
always as wise as I should have been myself, I had strength 
to resist many temptations and to exert a wholesome in- 
fluence over most of my associates. The slurs thrown at me 
that I was afraid and that I was still tied to my mother's apron 

[35] 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

strings did not often disturb me but usually had the opposite 
effect. 

At the close of the second term I entered the newly or- 
ganized Wenona Seminary in my home town, then conducted 
by Professor C. F. Diehl, a man of wide learning and ex- 
perience, and withal a most competent and enthusiastic in- 
structor. In my little book "Among Ourselves" I thus speak 
of him : 

"I look back tonight and count nearly a score of 
teachers on my fingers, and raise the question of their 
influence upon me. Just one crowds any or all of the 
others out, and that one was neither the handsomest 
nor the most learned among them. He was the only 
one however, who seemed to live wholly in his 
pupils. He seemed to have no other ambition than 
to serve them. He loved his home, he loved his 
church, he loved his books ; but his great love Avas for 
his pupils and somehow they all felt it and all knew 
it. They could hardly tell how, nor why, but when 
they were counting up their friends they never left him 
out and his genial, unselfish spirit had love enough 
to go round them all. It appears a little strange 
now I think of it, but every other teacher seemed to 
have some other ambition, some other love, superior 
to that which he had for his pupils. One was plan- 
ning to study law ; one was stocking a farm which he 
soon expected to settle upon ; one was building up a 
great library in which he spent his happiest hours ; one 
was engrossed in his scientific investigations and ex- 
periments ; one had his eye on a higher position ; one 
had 

A charming lover so fair ; 

And another was just trying to earn a livelihood ; but 
this dear soul was simply living for us. As he sur- 
rendered himself so completely to us, he was able to 
exercise an influence over us which called into being 
the best impulses of our nature. His supreme indif- 
ference to self and his sublime devotion to us served 
as an irresistible stimulus to attempt great things. I 
owe much to many of my teachers, God bless them 
all, but this man kindled within me many of the 
noblest ambitions of my life." 

There Avere many fine young men and women in our circle 
who under his leadership vied with each other in efforts for 

[36] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

higher standards of scholarship and of daily living. We did 
much original work for the schools of those days and main- 
tained a live and aggressive lyceum and debating club, which 
brought out several promising writers and speakers who after- 
wards became quite prominent in public affairs in Illinois and 
other western states. 

It was under the influence of such a spirit that nearly all 
the students in the seminary, along with most of the young 
people in the community, including myself, professed religion 
at the Methodist Church in a series of revival meetings there. 

Among the young men I met there, was Clinton R. Mit- 
chell, who was following Greeley's advice and going West for 
his fortune. He had received a good common school educa- 
tion at his home in Indiana and on reaching Wenona secured 
employment in the Fowler grain office where he soon made 
himself invaluable. As grain receipts decreased, he was al- 
lowed hours off each day for attendance at classes and later 
on had practically all his time for study. He easily ranked 
among the first in many subjects and in the fall of the succeed- 
ing year was elected superintendent of the Magnolia public 
schools, where he gave eminent satisfaction. He and I be- 
came fast friends, and he was a frequent and welcome visitor 
at our home. We studied together, rehearsed our declama- 
tions and debates together in a vacant barn near by or in 
any room in the Seminary at our disposal, both of us being 
mutually very helpful in our criticisms and emulations. He 
later studied law in Bloomington, and entered upon its prac- 
tice at Arkansas City, Kansas, where he soon became promi- 
nent in public affairs, serving in the State legislature and as 
a regent of the State University with much credit to himself 
and the state. The effect of this friendship, which is still as 
warm as ever, on my future career will appear later. 

Another student in the Seminary, Walter Reeves, tho 
not so intimate a friend as Mr. Mitchell, was an active leader 
in Seminary affairs and afterwards became a prominent teacher 
and public school superintendent, rounding out his career 
with several terms as congressman from his home district 
I have always deeply appreciated his friendly interest in me 
and his influence in opening the way for me to engage in 
institute work at Pontiac which led to my election to the 
presidency of the State Normal School of Kansas seven years 
later. 

Like many other youths I fancied that a mercantile career 
was the most promising which I could enter, and after a few 
terms in the Seminary was engaged as a clerk apprentice in 
the general store of B. Fowler & Co. at Wenona. It was an 

[37] 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

excellent school for me in developing several phases of my 
character and in giving me a very practical acquaintance with 
business methods that I found of incalculable benefit in after 
life. The manager, Mr. Ephraim Fowler, was an expert book- 
keeper as well as a man of refinement and culture, and he 
proved an inspiring instructor in more ways than one. After 
a year's service with that firm, a double summer-sault in the 
administrative policy of Andrew Johnson, the presidential suc- 
cessor of Abraham Lincoln, caught me innocently enough and 
thru a misunderstanding on my part, as the duly installed 
deputy postmaster. 

Thinking the arrangement had been made by agreement 
among the Fowlers and that as a temporary shift it would be 
a profitable experience, I was rather pleased with the new 
position as it brought me increased responsibility and salary, 
and also proved profitable enough as an experience, but 
in a few months the national administration again changed 
postmasters and I was adrift. 

Just then Major Powell of Wesleyan University, Bloom- 
ington, under the auspices of the national government was 
forming a party to explore the Grand Canons of the Colorado, 
invited my cousin Cadet Taylor and myself to go along. We 
promptly consented and proceeded to make arrangements for 
the trip, when almost at the last moment we were asked to 
furnish our own mules. In the meantime cousin Thomas 
K. Mills invited me to join his party for an overland drive 
to Greenfield, Mo. and Fort Scott, Kansas. As my health was 
none too rugged I accepted, hoping to benefit by it. 

Our party consisted of us two and Henry Carney, an ex- 
soldier of the Civil War, and Henry Fowler, just out from 
college in Massachusetts. We drove two spanking good 
teams, hitched to long light spring wagons with up-to-date 
equipment for camping. We also took along an easy riding 
pony for scouting and obtaining needed supplies. It being 
autumn we could pick up nearly enough game day by day 
to keep us provided with fresh meat. We had many interest- 
ing experiences of all sorts and stopped occasionally for a 
brief visit with friends and relations on the way. As cold 
weather approached, we traded off our teams profitably, com- 
ing home from Sedalia, Mo., on the railway in time for Thanks- 
giving, greatly improved in health and full of heartening 
stories for our friends. 

My father had long urged me to associate with him in 
the machine shop and take charge of his books and correspond- 
ence, which I now did, remaining with him over three years. 
I made myself useful not only at the desk, but in several de- 

r 38 1 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

partments where my mechanical genius came in good play. 
As rush of work demanded occasionally I acted as foreman 
of some department temporarily and thus became invaluable 
to him. In addition I attained to such a knowledge that I 
was well prepared to become the superintendent or manager 
of almost any similar establishment. 

But at twenty-three years of age I found it impossible to 
content myself with such a career and thought I saw my 
future success and happiness in the practice of law. A young 
graduate of the Wesleyan University at Bloomington had be- 
come pastor of our Cumberland Presbyterian Church and often 
beguiled me with the stories of his college life and the ad- 
vantages of a liberal education. He laid out a course of read- 
ing for me and insisted that my talents were worth developing 
in a large way. As friends of our family visited our home, 
many of whom were refined, cultured people, I found myself 
much embarrassed because of my lack of information and my 
inability to converse with them intelligently and entertain- 
ingly. Often did I make some excuse and slip to my room, 
there to sweat out my chagrin and mortification, frequently 
discovering it impossible to find refuge in sleep. 

A few of my intimate friends returning from college for 
their vacations were innocent contributors to my unhappiness 
and restlessness, and at last in the sheerest desperation I told 
my parents that I must go to college. 

Having saved enough money to pay my expenses for the 
first two years, I decided to enter Knox College along with 
my warm personal friend, Job. M. W. Moore, as my room- 
mate, both of us having conditional freshman recognition. 
Just before leaving home, however, my good friend, Edward 
L. Monser, tempted me greatly by proposing the formation of 
a partnership to manufacture and wholesale agricultural im- 
plements, wagons and buggies, in which he already had an 
extensive trade. His business and my father's manufacturing 
plant were to be put in for what they were worth, and I was 
to manage the factory. I did not hesitate long, however, for 
my head and heart were set on an education at all hazards tho 
I probably would come out of college without a penny. 

The Fall term at Knox confirmed me more than ever in 
my purpose, as it gave me a larger vision of what really con- 
stituted a liberal education. I was very happy in the atmos- 
phere of an ideal home life in the family of Mr. and Mrs. John 
Bassett, whom I shall always hold in grateful remembrance. 
The short, crisp chapel talks of President Gulliver were quick- 
ening and inspiring, and the class room instruction of my in- 
structors equally stimulating. 

r 39 1 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 








A FRESHMAN AT KNOX COLLEGE, 1869 



[40 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

Eugene Field was a fellow freshman and became much 
attached to Moore and myself, we three being frequent visitors 
at each others' rooms and having much in common. He was 
already dabbling a little in poetry and humor, also prose com- 
position which he confided to us and which we fully appreci- 
ated. As I was barred from the Greek fraternities, because I 
was taking the Latin-Scientific Course only, Field declared I 
was too good a fellow to be deprived of such associations and 
proposed to us to form a fraternity on a little more liberal 
basis, which he felt would quickly extend to many of the best 
colleges of the country. This we proceeded to do, finding 
much pleasure in formulating our constitution, ritual, grips, 
and signs. Our first achievement was to take an active and 
successful part in the organization of the freshman class. As 
I entered Lincoln University at Lincoln after the holidays 
however, I lost interest in the matter. Recently I met a 
Knoxonian student who told me that it had had a precarious 
youth but had won out and now is well recognized. 

As before stated, I now entered Lincoln in response to 
the desire of my father, who owned a scholarship there, it 
being under the auspices of the Cumberland Presbyterian 
Church of which we were members. In some ways the trans- 
fer proved advantageous, for its religious spirit was more 
marked than that at Knox, and I at once fell under the friendly 
care of Professor D. M. Harris, the young minister formerly 
mentioned, who had become professor of ancient languages 
in its faculty with responsibility for some work in the natural 
sciences. His interest in me soon brought me into a promin- 
ence which I scarcely deserved, but which spurred me to in- 
creased effort in all my studies. He often visited my room 
and with much eloquence and no end of enthusiasm demon- 
strated the great possibilities of liberal scholarship. Fie was 
all afire with the new doctrine of the correlation and conserva- 
tion of forces and regaled me with fervid dissertations on its 
scientific importance also. He made helpful suggestions 
about my reading and urged diligent practice in writing and in 
forensics in general, all of which I attempted to observe. 

I was also extremely fortunate in immediately forming 
the acquaintance of two young freshmen of like spirit with 
myself, we three falling desperately in love with each other 
at first sight. They were noble fellows and our friendship 
was mutually incentive to the development of the best within 
us. I made many warm friends there whose memory is ever 
green, but John Taylor Foster and John Meredith Logan lead 
them all in my memory and affection. 

I was not long in joining the Amasagacian Literary So- 

[41 1 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

ciety which afforded me frequent opportunity for exercise in 
declamation, essay, oration and debate, the opportunity being 
further emphasized by a stiff fine and an audience with the 
faculty in case of delinquency. I represented the society in 
two annual contests with the Athenians, once in oration and 
once in debate, winning both of them. They were often 
crowded with interested outsiders from the city when popular 
speakers were on the program or society or inter-society spirit 
was running so high that something thrilling might happen. 
The meetings were conducted in strict accordance with parlia- 
mentary rules, and many of the liveliest discussions developed 
on points of order and appeals from the Chair in which a dozen 
or more members might quickly become involved. Factional 
feeling frequently ran high in them, but what if it did? Such 
is life and such experiences but the better fitted those pros- 
pective citizens and statesmen for the more serious contests 
which would later confront them. Their animosities were 
very ephemeral then, and so they should be in the open field 
where more serious problems are sure to arise. Tho I have 
had intimate acquaintance with the work of many literary or- 
ganizations, I have never known any others that were so suc- 
cessfully organized and conducted. They, along with the 
Neatropheans and Amicitians, the young women's societies, 
which met in the afternoon of each Friday, were the life of the 
College and invaluable adjuncts as literary and forensic labora- 
tories. It is a pity that few colleges now maintain such ef- 
ficient organizations. 

There was no hazing at Lincoln in those days, occa- 
sionally there were pranks played by some smart Alecks that 
aroused the wrath of the administration, but they were passing 
events soon forgotten in the earnest life prevailing. Sporadic 
attempts to organize baseball constituted our chief athletic 
diversion. The presidency of the baseball club was imposed 
on me at one time, but as there was little interest in the game 
I did not gain much celebrity by it. The members of the 
faculty conducted student Bible classes in the Cumberland 
Presbyterian Sunday School which were well attended and had 
a wholesome influence on the college life. 

In anticipation of assignments on the commencement day 
program, some members of our class proposed a petition td 
the faculty asking that scholastic rank should not be consid- 
ered in making it up, as had been the custom in preceding 
years. After a heated discussion however, the class adjourned 
without action and nothing more was heard of it. Each one 
was required to present an oration and as the class was so 
large, fourteen in all, a morning and evening program was ar- 

[42] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

ranged, the salutatory and valedictory addresses being placed 
on the latter, thus giving it the greater dignity and signifi- 
cance. 

I completed the course for the Ph.B. degree with such 
standing that I was appointed salutatorian of my graduating 
class. Had I taken the classical course I was told that I 
would have been valedictorian on the same rank, but I was 
pleased that a better man, J. Wood Miller, was given it. 
While not caring particularly for the honor, I have always re- 
gretted that I did not take much Greek tho what I did has 
served me well, especially in its etymological use in the 
analysis and application of technical terms in my scientific and 
philosophic studies as well as in my general reading. My 
course in German also was limited, but in a linguistic way it 
has meant much to me. 

Had I suspected that I would finally become a teacher, I 
would certainly have included more language and literature 
in my course and spent at least two or three years more in 
preparing for my calling. 

I well remember my embarrassment over my inability 
to purchase a new suit for the occasion to replace the old, 
thick winter one which included a heavy black hat. I knew 
it looked rusty, but I cleaned it and brushed and pressed it 
as best I could and "sweat it thru." I had forgotten it, but 
an old friend of mine told me the other day that I revived my 
rusty cloth coat buttons with black ink also. That fact has 
enabled me to sympathize with scores of prospective graduates 
who have asked to be excused from attendance at their grad- 
uating exercises because of a similar handicap. I would relate 
my experience and after telling them that it was a good thing 
for me, kindly assured them that it would be for them too and 
that usually ended the matter. 

At the close of my oration I had such showers of bouquets 
from my friends that they cheered and encouraged me greatly ; 
their fragrance is with me still. The subject of my oration 
was Constructive Imagination. None of the generous compli- 
ments which I received gave me more satisfaction than that 
of Dr. Samuel Richards, the very learned and accomplished 
professor of Systematic Theology, tho probably no one was 
more delighted than my beloved mentor, Dr. Harris. 

The expenses of my college course had practically taken 
all of my funds, including my earnings in the machine shop 
during my summer vacation, for I lost no time after each com- 
mencement in resuming my place there. So here within a few 
months of my twenty-sixth anniversary I had still made little 
special preparation for my chosen profession. At eighteen I 

[43 1 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

had considered myself too old to enter college and so had 
lost nearly five years in experimenting in lines already men- 
tioned. My financial condition made a newspaper proposition 
and an academy principalship offer very tempting as a tem- 
porary expedient. But Providence seems to have had other 
work for me to do. 

During the early spring of my senior year, President Bow- 
don's health was so poor that he was absent in the South for 
rest and recuperation and I was asked to take charge of two 
of his classes. My students were very cordial in their ex- 
pressions of satisfaction with my instruction, and at last I 
was approached by Professor Harris with an intimation that 
I might be asked to serve as tutor in the natural sciences for 
the following year. On commencement day he also requested 
me not to leave on the early afternoon train as I had 
planned, for the Board of Trustees might like a personal con- 
ference with me in regard to the tutorship. I quickly replied 
that I must go as stated and that if the offer of the place was 
made, it would be without even such an appearance on my 
part. 

A day or two later a letter from President Bowdon arrived 
notifying me of my appointment and expressing an earnest 
hope that I would accept it. I had a presentment that such 
acceptance would mean the surrender of my cherished law 
plans and the devotion of my whole life to teaching, hence 
was a few weeks in reaching a decision. Before the close of 
the year I was promoted to a full professorship, which sealed 
my fate, for I took it as a call to a service which opened the 
way for great usefulness that I ought to heed. I have never 
felt that I was altogether mistaken. 

The social opportunities of students at Lincoln were in- 
creased by the personal interest taken in them by the citizens 
in those days. They were not only frequently invited to 
functions in their homes but also to meals, particularly on Sun- 
day when many a poor fellow was longing for a chance at his 
mother's good dinner. Very thankful am I for such considera- 
tion and also for the occasional evening as a guest in some re- 
fined family which helped to shape ideals that I afterwards 
largely realized in my own home. During my career as 
teacher all of this was much enhanced by the privileges of the 
Art Club, fostered by Mrs. R. B. Latham and other women of 
kindred tastes and culture, her spacious home being its recog- 
nized center. 

While enjoying hunting very much in my boyhood, I 
found no pleasure in wantonly killing any harmless or non-food 
animals. One day I had been in the woods and found noth- 

[44] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

ing to shoot, but as I started homeward I saw a beautiful wild 
canary in the top of a very high tree and tried my markman- 
ship on it. One small shot pierced its breast and it came 
down fluttering into my hand lying there panting and dying 
with appealing and reproachful eyes that haunt me still re- 
straining me from such inexcusable sport. 

As soon as we could toddle we children became regular 
attendants at church and Sunday school. All of us had our 
baths on Saturday evening and our shoes and boots cleaned 
and oiled or blacked and placed in a neat little row in the 
kitchen for use the next morning. My parents on a spring 
seat in a big farm wagon with the help and us children sit- 
ting on board seats or hay and comforters made a quick drive 
to the little church in the edge of the timber where both ser- 
vices were held. 

William Street, a rare, consecrated superintendent, made 
us most welcome. We recited our verses, sang away like 
nightingales and had some good advice from him and our 
teachers. Each of us carried reward cards home for scripture 
memorized and in due time brought them back to exchange 
for larger ones until the maximum brought a beautiful prize 
on prize-day. 

I think I must have committed thousands of verses to 
memory many of which have been and still are easily recalled, 
as occasion demanded. Very early some office was given me 
and with leading the singing, teaching a class and acting as 
superintendent at times was quite a busy factor in the Sunday- 
schools I attended even in my teens. 

In 1874, I was elected an elder in the Lincoln church and 
have since then represented the eldership in the various church 
judicatures many times over, having been moderator in all of 
them except the General Assembly and served on many im- 
portant committees, including some of them dealing with the 
union and reunion of the C. P. and Presbyterian U. S. A. 
churches. 

Grace at meals from my childhood and morning reading 
and prayer at home have been our custom which have ever 
been a source of guidance and strength to us. Tho in my early 
years quite set in my religious views, my studies in Christian 
ethics and ray more intimate fellowship with consecrated men 
and women eliminated much of my narrowness and developed 
a broader charity towards all people satisfying me that some 
of them from whom I differed could possibly be living a bet- 
ter life than T. My Quaker heritage kept alive the idea of a 
sufficient spiritual guidance if we but heed its voice, hence I 
have ever been thankful that I was rocked in a Quaker cradle. 

[45 1 




ASSEMBLY HALL AND LIBRARY, ORIGINAL BUILDING IN REAR, 
LINCOLN COLLEGE 



Part II 

Lincoln University 
18724882 

The University had practically no laboratory equipment 
at that time and having persuaded the Board to grant me a 
small allowance I bought a little supply of inexpensive pieces 
and considerable material with which I was able to construct 
quite a variety of apparatus and make a majority of the ex- 
periments needed in physics, chemistry and mineralogy. Ad- 
ditional allowances from time to time enabled me to increase 
the equipment so that our laboratory courses became very 
popular features of the curriculum. In 1875 the General As- 
sembly of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church met at Lin- 
coln. I was chairman of the entertainment committee and 
being in communication with all the commissioners, I im- 
proved the opportunity to make a personal appeal to them to 
bring something with them for our natural history cabinet. 
Many of them responded cordially and several tables were 
filled with fairly valuable contributions that others increased 
later. They made a good beginning for a collection, which 
in the next seven years reached very satisfactory proportions 
for a western college of that day and required several cases 
for its accommodation. I learned the art of taxidermy very 
soon after I began to teach and taught it to several of my stu- 
dents who found much pleasure in helping me to place a 
fairly representative collection of birds, insects, and a few 
other animals on our shelves. 

In those days the available books on teaching were neither 
very numerous nor very scientific, and I found little help 
on methods and management. Page's Theory and Practice 
was illuminating and inspiring but scarcely more than an in- 
troduction to the subject. Later Rosenkranz's Pedagogics 
was translated by Dr. W. T. Harris and Anna Brackett and 
tho greatly involved in thought and sentential structure, 
proved of incalculable value to those of us who were seeking 

[47] 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

for fundamentals and constructive leadership. The great gap 
between Page and Rosenkranz soon began to be filled by- 
writers of more or less ability, and in a decade many helpful 
books appeared on a variety of phases of the teachers' work, 
its bibliography being surprisingly comprehensive by 1890. 

I was really very poorly prepared for the work assigned 
me as a teacher and have always said that I succeeded, be- 
cause of my keen enthusiasm and method rather than by the 
breadth of my knowledge of my subjects. I am perhaps en- 
titled to say that I spared no time nor labor, day or night, that 
might increase my fund of information and enhance my ef- 
ficiency as a teacher. 

The training which I had received at the Illinois State 
Normal University was extremely helpful to me and from 
the first dominated my methods in many respects. For a long 
time they were rather empirical, as they were also dictated 
largely by my own experiences in working out problems and 
establishing principles, for as they had contributed so largely 
to my success, I imagined they would also to that of my 
students. Even with my little laboratory I was able to lead 
them largely by the inductive method, for there was always 
abundant room for field work in botany and zoology. As I 
afterwards became acquainted with methods evolved from 
the results of psychological investigation by our pedagogical 
experts, I was surprised and gratified that mine were so 
generally in accord with them. The enthusiasm and rapid 
advance of my students however, had been their highest en- 
dorsement. To this day as I meet them, they often speak 
of their obligation to me for the influence of those methods 
upon them in begetting larger vision, more intensive thinking, 
keener discernment, riper scholarship, and nobler ideals of life. 
Many of them had been classmates of mine in the preceding 
year or longer, and yet almost without exception now cooper- 
ated with me in a most delightful way. My sense of apprecia- 
tion of their generous attitude in spite of my shortcomings 
grows with the advancing years. 

I had been very fortunate in my student home life, and 
as I began teaching was equally so in finding rooms with 
Rev. and Mrs. James Ritchey, both of whom had given a half 
century of service to the church and were now living at Lin- 
coln for the purpose of completing the musical education of 
their daughter Kate, a most brilliant and versatile young 
woman who kept the home alive with music and good cheer. 
Mr. Ritchey was giving some time to field work for the 
University and was also a trustee. My room-mate there was 
my cousin Andrew Mills who had also been with me my senior 

[48] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

year at the home of Mr. and Mrs. James Andrew. We were 
to each other all that brothers could be, and our affection has 
deepened with the years. The old folks were purists which 
was a good thing for me in those days of transition to new 
responsibilities. 

I was in some ways still more happily domiciled with the 
opening of the second year in the charming home of Mr. and 
Mrs. George A. Brown. They were New Englanders, culti- 
vated and refined with two lovely children and a few compan- 
ionable boarders who contributed much to the enjoyment of 
the little circle. I found great pleasure in taking our host 
and hostess into a secret and planning for the installation 
there of my coming bride. 

The wedding occurred in the home of Mr. and Mrs. John 
O. Dent, parents of the bride, on the evening of October 16, 
1873, the Rev. Leroy Woods of Streator, Illinois, officiating. 
That is the simple announcement of an affair which meant 
much to the daughter, Frances Minerva, and myself. It should 
be added that the brides-maids were my sister Isabel, the 
bride's sister Mary and her long time friend Miss Jessie J. 
Lynch. The groomsmen were John T. Foster, J. M. Logan 
and the fiance of Mary, Augustine Y. Morris. The reception 
at my parents' home on the next evening formally completed 
the festivities. My entrance at chapel the next morning was 
the occasion of a very noisy demonstration and the presenta- 
tion of a handsome silver tea set from students and faculty 
that upset me for the day. Dear Mrs. Brown immediately 
adopted Mrs. Taylor as her foster daughter and became our 
loved counsellor and friend. 

Before the close of the preceding year, President Bowdon 
had gone to his reward. He was a man of good general cul- 
ture, an entertaining conversationalist, an eloquent and witty 
speaker and withal very popular with us ; hence it was not 
easy to find a suitable successor. The contest finally nar- 
rowed down to a choice between Dr. A. J. McGlumphy, vice- 
President of the faculty and Dr. Guthrie of Scotland, the 
progressives campaigning very industriously for the latter 
who was very clearly superior in scholarship and attainments 
to any other man mentioned. The friends of the former how- 
ever, brought such personal pressure to bear that he was 
elected to avoid serious friction. He was a superb class room 
instructor, but lacked vision and the inspirational qualities 
that are needed for an executive officer. 

On the evening of November fifth our first daughter came 
to us and was promptly christened Jessie Minerva, which 
seemed to please the little sprite very much. She was a real 

[49 1 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

sunbeam and brought increasing" light and joy to our home 
with each recurring day. She had her own way as far as 
judicious parents could allow, until July 14, 1879, when Kittie 
Mary arrived and was properly enthroned in all our hearts, 
being quickly appropriated as her very own by her elder sister. 
If all parents w r ere as equally blessed in their children as 
we, this world would be very full of exceedingly happy homes. 

In the Winter of 1872-3, the great Union revival in Lin- 
coln occurred. Evangelist Hammond, who was expected to 
conduct it, found his work at Bloomington so fruitful that he 
cancelled his engagement with us and insisted that Ave could 
do it ourselves. The University faculty and the students 
united enthusiastically with the city people, and almost every 
home was blessed as never before. Daily prayer and con- 
ference meeting's were held at the college and practically every 
student entered upon a new life or became more zealous in 
Christian service. The Sunday-schools of the city rapidly 
increased in numbers and interest, particularly that of the 
Cumberland Presbyterian Church, which most of the students 
attended. Tho I had held an office of some kind in the Sunday- 
school from my early teen days, I had not taken its possibili- 
ties and importance so seriously as now when I took charge of 
a class under the quickening impulse of that great religious 
awakening. A few years later I was elected superintendent 
of that school and soon had nearly fifty earnest, consecrated 
teachers at work with me in efforts to increase its efficiency. 
When f left for Kansas, the total enrollment had increased 
to about 450, nearly double that which I had received from 
my predecessor, and which occupied every foot of space in 
the church, including the choir loft and a new primary room 
in the basement. 

Among the many to whom I was greatly indebted for 
sympathetic and helpful suggestions and assistance in building- 
it up, were Mrs. D. M. Harris, superintendent of the primary 
department, J. H. Danley, chorister, and our wide-awake and 
progressive pastor, Rev. J. M. Hubbert, easily the prince 
among the pastors of that church during the thirteen years of 
my connection with it, tho all deserve a warm word of com- 
mendation and appreciation. After the revival meeting men- 
tioned I was elected an elder and greatly enjoyed and profited 
by the fellowship of the earnest men composing the session 
of the church. In 1875 I was a delegate from Mackinaw 
presbytery to the General Assembly at Bowding Green, Ky., 
and in 1880 and 1881 President of the Cumberland Presby- 
terian State Sunday-school Association, which was already 
doing far-reaching things for our schools thruout Illinois. 

r 50 I 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

I had always been a teetotaler and a staunch advocate of 
the suppression of the liquor traffic by law, hence I was fre- 
quently on the ward or general campaign committee at the 
city elections. My interest in state and national politics has 
never abated, tho as a teacher I have always thought it unwise 
to take an active part in political campaigns for my work's 
sake. 

In conjunction with the Logan county superintendent I 
had been giving a few courses along with the teacher's insti- 
tute for a Summer or two, when I was much pleased to receive 
an invitation from Superintendent Tombaugh of Livingston 
County to serve as instructor in the natural sciences in his 
institute at Pontiac, the suggestion having been made by my 
friends, Superintendents Diehl and Reaves. On account of 
an old custom in vogue there, he found some prominent county 
teachers urgently demanding assignment of three out of four 
of the subjects to them. He told me of his perplexity, and 
as I had been compelled to carry some of the common branches 
also in the Academy at Lincoln, I quickly relieved him by 
taking them there also. So well was he pleased with my spirit 
and methods that he recalled me six different Summers in 
succession, in which time I assumed most of the work in 
natural science and gained increasing knowledge and skill in 
the methods of teaching teachers. 

About 1877 R. B. Welch, a graduate of Wesleyan Uni- 
versity at Bloomington became superintendent of the Pontiac 
city schools and also a regular instructor in the institute. He 
was a mathematical expert, a good thinker, and a popular 
instructor. Out of the 250 teachers in attendance, he suc- 
ceeded in inducing about twenty to buy the new translation of 
Rosenkranz' Pedagogy and to form a class in it with the 
others as interested listeners. Each evening he would bring 
two or three of the instructors to my room and we would 
digest the next morning's topics with much care. I found an 
ulterior end in this method, for he insisted on my sitting with 
the class and taking the leading part in the discussion which 
he provoked by playing Socrates in asking questions. It was 
this introduction to the philosophy of education that made it 
possible for me to enter with such assurance of success upon 
that larger study of the problems which have been confront- 
ing me for over forty years in the various positions which 
I have held in the educational world. 

In 1879 Mr. Welch was called to the presidency of the 
State Normal School of Kansas. We had become such fast 
friends that he proposed to me to enter his faculty there as 
soon as financial conditions would enable him to offer me a 

[51] 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

satisfactory salary. I was flattered by this evidence of con- 
fidence and his declaration that I was the best man he had 
ever seen in the schoolroom. Coupled with the tentative offer 
made later was the statement on his part that he had decided 
to resign in two years and would assist me in succeeding him. 
I visited Emporia for a personal conference and met the secre- 
tary of the Board of Regents, Dr. J. J. Wright, a very delight- 
ful man, who afterwards became a much prized friend. Tho 
I saw a future for the school, I told Mr. Welch that I could 
not think of making the presidency proposition a contingent 
of acceptance, but when the formal offer came, would give 
my answer based upon the inducements which I saw in the 
department of natural sciences only, for it was that which 
he wanted me to develop. 

Two years later he resigned as he predicted. I had not 
seriously considered myself fitted for the presidency of a 
State Normal School, but as he had succeeded quite well, I 
thought possibly I might also do so. A few friends kindly 
commended me to the Board of Regents for the vacancy, and 
my old time Wenona Seminary friend, C. R. Mitchell, so im- 
pressed them with my qualifications that in April, 1882, I 
was wired to meet them at Emporia for an interview. I found 
several other candidates awaiting a hearing too ; one of whom' 
detained the board so long that I almost despaired of a hearing 
at all. The hour was late when I was called and I was not 
detained long. Perhaps the brevity and clearness of my re- 
sponses to their inquiries pleased them, for early the next 
morning I was notified that I had been unanimously elected as 
president to serve "during good behavior." I thanked them 
heartily and told them that I trusted that they had not made 
a mistake, for they had preferred me above some very capable 
and experienced men. 

They invited me to accompany them to the School, where 
I was congratulated by President Welch and introduced to 
the faculty and students at chapel. The reception was very 
cordial, and I made a brief informal address which seemed to 
please them. On leaving home my wife had expressed the 
sincere hope for success, and I had simply replied with con- 
fidence "I am going there to get it." I was not long in send- 
ing a message which gave much joy to a little family circle 
in Lincoln. President Welch invited me to dinner and took 
much pains in acquainting me with some details of administra- 
tion and other matters, which proved quite illuminating and 
helpful afterwards. He also kindly invited me to deliver the 
address to the graduating class in June and proposed an ela- 
borate inauguration ceremony. I replied that while much 

[52 1 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

appreciating his spirit, I preferred to assume the duties of my 
office without ostentation and to make my inaugural address 
along with my valedictory later on. 

I had been instructor at the University for about six years 
when an unpleasant church trouble arose, resulting in the 
resignation of our pastor. Before the college year expired, 
he began a silent campaign among the trustees for my removal 
and his election to the vacancy. Being a graduate of Yale 
College and prominent in the denomination he imagined that 
he could easily accomplish it ; indeed two weeks before com- 
mencement he very quietly took our President into his con- 
fidence, informed him of his plans and notified him to keep 
hands off, for it was already settled. He further said that he 
had no charge to make against me or my work ; that the church 
owed him the position and that he could serve it better in a 
college than in the pastorate. 

Tho warned to consider the matter confidential, the doctor 
promptly gave me the whole story and advised me to take the 
defensive. I declined to do so, stating that if six years of con- 
secrated service, such as I had given, would not protect me 
from such a wanton attack as that, I preferred to leave. I 
heard little more of it until the day before commencement, 
when I learned that a protest against it, signed by practically 
every student in the University had gone to the board and that 
many of them were staying over to see that it was respected. 

In those days the meetings of the board were public and 
along with others I went to the afternoon session following 
the graduating exercises. There I was surprised to see some 
of the staunch friends of the institution remaining over as 
Rev. James White told me, "in your interest or rather in its 
interest." Like George Washington, I withdrew as action on 
the matter came up and was deeply gratified to learn that 
fourteen of the fifteen members voted for me. 

That evening the students and friends headed by a brass 
band surrounded our home and made sweet music for an hour 
in expression of their joy and good will. My wife had slept 
little for nearly a fortnight on account of her anxiety over 
the situation, tho it had not disturbed me much. This ova- 
tion touched me so profoundly that I lay awake until nearly 
morning recounting my blessings and this signal manifestation 
of loyalty from those to whom I was giving my best life. One 
especially gratifying feature of this spontaneous movement in 
my behalf was that its work was practically done before my 
most intimate personal friends knew anything about the mat- 
ter. 

My reasons for leaving Lincoln were the stolid conserva- 

[53] 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

tive policy of the president and the lack of funds for its main- 
tenance. 

The financial management was inexcusably bad and gave 
no hope for improvement. The unpaid balances on meagre 
salaries promised continued to grow distressingly larger, and 
the business credit of every member of the faculty was corre- 
spondingly discounted. I left there with less money than I 
put into our family expenses from outside sources, and it was 
not until a new policy was adopted under a new management 
that I finally succeeded in getting a settlement several years 
afterwards. That new policy accomplished much in reestab- 
lishing the credit of the college and in enlarging its endow- 
ment and facilities on a basis more in accord with modern 
ideals for which the management is entitled to the highest 
praise. 

After the announcement was made that I had accepted 
the Kansas position, Mr. M. W. Barrett, a prominent and 
wealthy business man of the city, whose friendship and con- 
fidence I enjoyed, met me and expressed regret at my going, 
saying that if a financial consideration was taking me that I 
need not go. I was much flattered by this and thanked him 
for his kindly interest and appreciation. 

We disposed of our home and superfluous household ef- 
fects advantageously and leaving my family to make farewell 
visits at Wenona, I went to Emporia late in July to prepare 
for the opening of the Lyon County Institute, which Superin- 
tendent Wharton had graciously asked me to conduct. 

I am loth to close this chapter without some further word 
about the many sides of my life at Lincoln while a student 
and an instructor. The paucity of funds in the University 
treasury already mentioned, with the consequent sacrifices 
forced upon the instructors' families in those days without 
weakening their devotion to its interests or dampening their 
enthusiasm constitutes a noteworthy page in the educational 
history of Illinois. Those experiences kept us very close to- 
gether and hallowed a fellowship seldom accompanying hap- 
pier material conditions. I have often recalled with unalloyed 
pleasure the blessed associations of those years and the influ- 
ence they had upon my life in fitting me for the larger respon- 
sibilities which afterwards faced me. 

I would find much satisfaction in reciting the names of 
members of the faculty to whom I confess abiding obliga- 
tion ; of the many scores of young men and women in my 
classes who even now continue to be an inspiration to give 
the best within me to service because of the great part they 
have played and are playing in the business and professional 

r 54 1 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

world as well as in civic and community affairs generally ; and 
of the citizens of Lincoln and the friends and patrons of 
the University at large who in the face of many discourage- 
ments were ever loyal to its interests and to us personally. 
Tho lack of space forbids, they are found between the lines 
of all these pages, — Memoria in actcnia! 



f55 | 



Fart III 

The State Normal School of Kansas 
18824901 

I had consented to work in the County institute at Em- 
poria because it would afford me such a fine opportunity to 
get acquainted with the Kansas educational system and sam- 
ple its teaching force. I think it one of the wisest and most 
profitable pieces of work I ever did, for at its close I found 
that I had made many warm friends among all classes of 
people, particularly among the teachers. That was a dry, hot 
Summer, introducing September with terrific hot winds that 
seemed like blasts from vast prairie fires and destroying almost 
every green thing in sight. The assurance that such weather 
was unusual helped to reconcile me to it. 

The number of personal interviews and letters from pros- 
pective students had become quite encouraging before the 
close of the institute and as I had no secretary, kept me busy 
every spare minute, but now even the night hours were hardly 
sufficient to dispose of the business properly. I was much 
gratified at this however, for I knew it meant increased attend- 
ance for the coming year. President Welch had canvassed 
many parts of the State and made friends for the school 
wherever he went, hence much of the old antagonism was be- 
ing replaced by a sympathetic interest in it that was assuring. 

The problem of entertainment for the coming students 
was a serious one and I set about finding homes in a very 
methodical way, visiting and inspecting many of them my- 
self that I might have first hand knowledge of their condition 
and facilities for meeting the demands of the different classes 
of students, for I already knew the importance of locating 
them in suitable homes to insure the best results in study and 
social development. I found them and their parents greatly 
pleased to have me go with them to assist in finding satisfac- 
tory rooms and I did so whenever possible, walking or hiring 
a buggy if necessary. That plan gave me a very good ac- 

r 57 1 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

quaintance with them before the opening day and made them 
at home with me as I faced them in our first general confer- 
ence. 

I learned that three of the leading members of my faculty 
had been at least passive candidates for the presidency and 
that there was a little resentment that the Board had seen 
fit not only to go outside the School but outside the State for 
the new executive officer. I was gratified however, to find 
them ready to give and take advice in a friendly way and the 
classes were organized with no more delay than usual. 1 
was distressed however, at the cumbrous manner in which 
it was done, for the program was made up in response to a 
show of hands for each subject and hour which took much 
readjusting and was very unsatisfactory when done. I sub- 
mitted patiently, but very soon afterwards proceeded to ar- 
range a permanent program for each term even tho its possi- 
bility was doubted by them. The scheme w r as published and 
the students told that they must become regular as quickly 
as possible and adjust themselves to it. It proved to be so 
well planned that few changes were found necessary in the 
succeeding terms, thus enabling us to assign students their 
hours for the entire course in advance if so desired and insur- 
ing regular class work the second day of each term. 

I found the method of keeping accounts and of reporting 
and entering students records very antiquated and as soon 
as practical made radical changes in them. Without going 
into further detail I will simply state that I gradually took up 
many other problems of organization and management with a 
view of increasing their efficiency in every possible way, in 
which I always found some members of my faculty deeply 
interested and exceedingly helpful. 

The School w r as then offering four courses for graduation, 
three of them for the diploma, which by law r was a life certi- 
ficate to teach in Kansas. Admission to them all was on 
certificate of completion of the work prescribed in the grades. 
The first requiring two years, was called the Common School' 
course and included ten semester units in the first year and an 
equal number prescribed from the second and fourth years 
of the curriculum. The second, requiring three years, was 
called the Elementary course and included the first, second 
and fourth years of the curriculum, with certain electives from 
the third year. The third, called the Advanced course, in- 
cluded the entire curriculum of four years with a few electives. 
The fourth, called the Academic course, included the first 
three years of the curriculum only. Its diploma was not a cer- 
tificate to teach as it did not include any strictly professional 

r 58 1 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

work, that being principally offered in the fourth year of the 
general curriculum. 

The Common School course was intended to fit candidates 
for teaching in the rural schools and in the grades of the city 
schools, but as so many of them accepted high school posi- 
tions, principalships and even superintendencies it had brought 
the institution under severe criticism in many quarters. In 
the senior class I found 34 Common School students and only 
eight others It took some courage to abolish that course 
even tho one more year of grace was given, but it was 
promptly done and the standards raised all around. I was 
warned that the attendance would drop materially and that 
our graduating classes would be cut in two if I insisted on 
the change. Tho the latter did occur, for the class of 1885 
contained but 18 graduates and that of 1886 but 27, the raising 
of the standards at once gave us recognition among the better 
class of institutions and brought us a much superior body of 
students. 

At one time there had been four State Normal Schools 
in Kansas but their antagonism, or rather the antagonisms 
of their friends had become so great that all had been dis- 
continued except this one, which possessed a fine building 
and an allotment of government land on which it afterwards 
realized an endowment of nearly $300,000. In appropriating 
a few thousand dollars in 1881 to meet some old debts of the 
school, the legislature had inserted a clause "that in the future 
no more appropriations shall ever be made for its support." 
This was a bad handicap of which I was ignorant, but nothing 
daunted I went to the legislature of 1883 and succeeded in 
securing an appropriation of $3,873 for current expenses for 
the next biennium, a begrudged sum in those days of poverty 
stricken Kansas. In that effort, however, I discovered that 
the friends of the defunct schools were not all dead and that 
a dangerous heresy was being propagated to the effect that 
the "Emporia Normal was little more than a local high 
school." The advance in our standard was my first reply ; 
the citation of the fact that all higher educational institutions 
even including Harvard, Yale, Berlin, etc. had a large propor- 
tional local attendance was my second ; and my third was the 
record showing that many of the apparently local students 
were temporarily there for their education and that its gradu- 
ates were in service in all parts of the commonwealth. 

Kansas is a large State, however, and as some smaller 
eastern states had several State Normal Schools, I saw that 
more would come in Kansas before this one was properly 
equipped unless the rising demand was switched off in some 

r 59 1 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

way. To do this I proposed to our Board of Regents that we 
pay mileage one way in excess of $3.00 paid for railway fare 
to all Kansas students paying tuition for a full semester, thus 
practically bringing the school within one hundred miles of 
all parts of the State, the rates being three cents then. They 
asked me where I would get the funds to do it. I replied that 
they would come in the increased tuition, it in reality being 
a rebate on the fee of each student receiving it. They 
promptly adopted the plan and it not only served a good pur- 
pose in securing needed appropriations, but popularized the 
institution and attracted hundreds of students from outside 
our immediate locality. It is true that at nearly every ses- 
sion of the legislature one or more bills for reviving the former 
normal schools or the establishment of others were introduced, 
but they failed to become laws because of our mileage system 
and the growing disposition to equip one first class school 
properly before loading up with others. It was not until the 
National Government in 1899 turned the Hays Reservation 
over to the State for an auxiliary State Normal School that 
an additional one was established. 

The provision in the organic act establishing the State' 
Normal School at Emporia that its diploma should be a life 
certificate to teach in the public schools, was a valuable 
franchise, and but a just stamp of approval on the State's 
own effort at training its teachers, but as it was now growing 
so rapidly it aroused the antagonism of the private schools and 
colleges efforts were made at every session of the legislature 
to repeal it or to extend the franchise to them, tho few pre- 
tended to give much instruction in professional subjects. Of 
course, we opposed all such legislation, which naturally 
awakened hostility to our increasing appropriations. 

Conceding the justice of some recognition of the academic 
work which graduates of the better colleges who appeared for 
its examinations for the state certificate had done, I proposed 
to the State Board of Education to accept their records on 
those subjects and examine them only on professional subjects. 
The other members claimed however, that we could not legally 
do so and no action was taken. In 1893 the legislative com- 
mittee of the Kansas College Federation submitted a certificate 
bill to the legislature and I was invited to meet with the joint 
committee of both houses where I was able to convince them 
of its danger to our standards and so prevented its adoption. 
I finally drafted a bill however, embodying the proposition 
mentioned and an increase in the membership of the State 
Board to seven, which our friends assisted them in passing. 
It enabled the board to revise the work in the colleges and 

r 60 1 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

to standardize them on the basis of the courses at the State 
University and the State Normal School. To do this they 
were required to possess at least a certain amount of property, 
including laboratory and library equipment, a stated income, 
a reasonable pedagogical library and employ at least one ap- 
proved pedagogical professor. As they were given represen- 
tation on the Board, the plan proved popular and developed 
most friendly relations among us. The Normal School con- 
tinued to grow just as rapidly however, and they later insisted 
upon the award of a state certificate for the graduates of their 
four year professional courses for the A.B. degree as approved 
by the Board. As the better colleges were undoubtedly keep- 
ing faith with us in the maintenance of standards I joined their 
committee in formulating an amendment to the law to that 
effect, which was adopted by the legislature in 1897. Tho 
the new standards could not be met by the private normals 
which now soon ceased to exist, the impetus given to better 
professional training for teachers was most marked every- 
where and prepared the way for more exacting certificate 
qualifications than ever before. I have always felt that my 
services in securing these results were no small part of those 
which I rendered to Kansas during my term of service there. 

The State Board of Education, of which as President of 
the State Normal School I became ex officio a member in 1882, 
prepared the courses of study for the county teachers' insti- 
tutes, licensed the instructors of the same, prepared the ques- 
tions for the county and state examinations, graded the papers 
in the latter and issued certificates for the same. Little atten- 
tion had been paid to the professional phases of these tests 
and very elementary courses and questions had been prepared 
in the natural sciences. These subjects were now assigned to 
me and I at once made some radical advances in both, which 
at first aroused considerable criticism and protest. Some of 
the leading instructors insisted that the rather simple labora- 
tory work required in the sciences could not be done with the 
apparatus available. 

The point I wished to stress however, was the great value 
of illustration and experimentation and the possibilities of 
making a large variety of comparatively simple experiments 
with inexpensive apparatus, much of which could be made by 
the instructor himself with very little labor. They soon set 
the pace for all of the subjects and developed a much more 
wholesome and progressive spirit among the teachers gener- 
ally. To this day I am meeting old Kansans who inform me 
that they had cause to remember their first acquaintance with 
me on account of the exacting labor required in mastering 

[61 1 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

those courses and preparing for the tests. We later differ- 
entiated the pedagogical work more fully into the five profes- 
sional courses for the state certificate, which was a material 
advance over nearly every State in the Union and which has 
made the average Kansas teacher more truly professional than 
in most of them. 

During the administration of State Superintendent Ed- 
mund Stanley, the Board of Education took a great step for- 
ward in an elaborate revision of the courses of study for the 
county institutes which could also be used in the rural and 
grade schools, based upon the principles of correlation then 
being developed and adopted in many quarters. Methods of 
grading the rural schools and of a closer grading of the town 
and city schools were included in the course together with 
many other helpful suggestions for its use. The responsibility 
of this revision was largely placed upon me and its cordial 
reception in spite of unfavorable comments by ultra conserva- 
tives was gratifying to myself and to my associates in working 
out the details. It is but proper to add that much of it had 
already been worked out and tested in the State Normal School 
and in some of the public schools of the State. 

On taking charge of the Normal School I found the most 
meagre equipment imaginable. Several basement rooms were 
without flooring and numerous conveniences were wanting in 
many parts of the building. There were several annoying 
little debts hanging over us and no legislative appropriations 
for expenses of any kind, our sources of income being limited 
to the interest on a small endowment fund and the prospective 
tuition fees. I had occasion to give a little order for supplies 
to an Emporia business man as the term was opening and 
meeting him shortly after told him to send in his bill and it 
would be paid. He stopped and looking at me curiously said : 
"What's that? I like that but we have not been accustomed 
to it here." I told him we were going to pay now or not go, 
which called out another expression of pleasure. Elsewhere 
I have mentioned the first appropriation secured by me. That 
sum added to the amount we could spare from the now grow- 
ing tuition fund enabled us to make additions to our jumble 
of a library and to the apparatus in several departments and 
also to finish up some rooms and install a little furniture here 
and there. These new things improved the atmosphere and 
put new life into faculty and students. 

Before the meeting of the legislature in 1885 the attend- 
ance in the Normal Department had grown so much that I 
asked the Regents to request appropriations comformable to 
our needs including a new wing on the west ; while in their 

[62] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

report formally approving my recommendations as a whole, 
they neglected to emphasize specifically the urgency for the 
wing, which grieved me greatly. As the legislature assembled 
however, I asked for a meeting of the Board and insisted that 
they send President Rice and myself to Topeka to make the 
attempt. They authorized it and I spent an hour afterward in 
a personal appeal to Mr. Rice to throw himself into the cam- 
paign. He took the next train for Topeka and after spending 
a few hours interviewing legislators, went home, writing me 
that he found a very kindly feeling towards us and actually 
thought there was some chance for a good appropriation. 

I went up and interviewed General Taylor of Hutchison, 
who had just been appointed Chairman of the Ways and 
Means Committee, and who was there for the avowed purpose 
of securing a prospective reformatory for his city. He was 
very ready to promise me a favorable report on our bill which 
I induced his associates to help him to keep. Our Senator L. 
B. Kellogg laughed at me as I told him of my confidence in 
getting the bill thru the House and then said : "Well, you 
get it thru the House and I will take care of it in the Senate." 
I was a novice in lobbying then, but I discreetly secured the 
pledges of a large majority of the members of each House to 
favor the bill before allowing it to come to a vote. The result 
aroused unrestrained enthusiasm at Emporia and proved a 
great advertising card for us. 

The addition was completed by the next February and 
yet so great an influx of new students had appeared that we 
were scarcely in it before the cry for more room was on again. 
In their next report the Regents advised remodeling the old 
assembly room among other things named. The Ways and 
Means Committee did not favor the assembly room proposi- 
tion but allowed funds sufficient to finish and furnish all the 
remaining basement rooms and to cut the attic over it into 
half a dozen recitation rooms, which gave us a little more 
breathing space. Still the eager students came in greater 
numbers. The mileage system gave us representatives from 
practically every county in the state and our undergraduates 
and graduates were everywhere demonstrating the advantages 
of the professional instruction which we were giving them. 
So great was the demand upon us for teachers that we were 
constantly embarrassed because of our inability to meet it. 
As we were again rapidly approaching the "suffocation point," 
we set about organizing an active campaign for an east wing, 
which should be large enough to accommodate all the students 
whom we could reasonably expect to come to us in a quarter 
of a century. On account of the urgent demands for more 

r 63 1 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

normal schools in other parts of the State, we knew that it 
would be no light task, particularly as we decided that we 
would continue our policy of neutrality in regard to such ef- 
forts. 

For more than a year before the legislature of 1893 would 
meet our students began going home shouting this slogan : 
"A New Wing and a New Assembly Room for the State 
Normal School." They helped us to arouse the alumni to 
take an active part in the campaign and all of them strove to 
enlist the friendly interest of candidates for the legislature in 
all parties, so before it assembled, we knew fairly well that 
we had a safe majority in both houses. The House War, 
mentioned later, queered our plans greatly and we were forced 
to use every honorable expedient to pilot our bill safely thru 
the legislature. A large committee of influential citizens of 
Emporia ably seconded by our indefatigable and ever loyal 
friend, Hon. Rodolph Hatfield of Wichita, camped in Topeka 
at the critical time and placing themselves under my leader- 
ship soon assured us of its passage. When I reached Em- 
poria, I was met by a big delegation of students, who unhitched 
the horses from a cab and drew me up Commercial street in 
state to the Normal building where felicitations were ex- 
changed. The general joy found pyrotechnical and vocal out- 
lets in the evening. 

In this campaign as well as in many others which required 
careful management, we were always ably and faithfully sup- 
ported by our local representatives, whose names Emporia 
should not be disposed to forget. The amount appropriated 
for the building was $50,000, as much as twice that now. 

In order to have sufficient land upon which to erect the 
addition, it became necessary to purchase a small strip on the 
east and I was authorized to open negotiations with Governor 
Eskridge for its purchase. He asked about twice as much as 
the highest amount fixed by any of several competent apprais- 
ers, which the board promptly declined to pay. It offered 
twenty-five hundred dollars, about the average of the appraise- 
ments, and no attempts at compromise accomplished anything. 
It began to look as tho we might lose the building and I ap- 
pealed to the citizens for aid. In a very short time fifteen 
hundred dollars were subscribed. I finally made him a flat 
proposition of four thousand, which was the highest amount 
any appraiser had named. He accepted the offer and I paid 
him the money. 

We made elaborate arrangements for the dedicatory exer- 
cises of the building and its beautiful and commodious assem- 
bly room. I made several efforts to have the faculty and 

[64] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

regents decide upon a name for the latter, but the program 
opened without any agreement of which I had knowledge. 
As the President of the Board of Regents, Hon. Rodolph Hat- 
field, was making the dedicatory address, he startled me by 
turning my way and saying: "Mr. President, — In recognition 
of your great services to this institution and of your splendid 
faith, I am authorized by the regents and faculty, with the 
approval of a host of friends to christen this elegant and 
spacious assembly room with your name — 'Albert Taylor 
Hall'." He then picked up the very large vase filled with 
beautiful flowers which stood upon the table and presented 
it to me in a very gracious way. My feelings can better be 
imagined than described as that vast audience arose in wild 
applause, adding to my discomfiture. I assured them that tho 
I did not feel worthy of the high honor accorded me, I would 
strive to deserve it by more faithful service in coming years. 

I have never been able to convince myself that its name 
had anything to do with the coming of that terrible tornado 
one night in the following Autumn, which tore off its massive 
roof and hurled some of its heavy timbers thru the roof of the 
main building disfiguring its walls and furniture amazingly. 
The storm continued until morning, eight inches of water fall- 
ing in the driving torrents, keeping a force of men busy thru 
it all dipping and mopping the flood of waters from the assem- 
bly floor to protect the ceilings and floors below as far as 
possible. 

The original beautiful main building had been destroyed 
by fire in 1878 from spontaneous combustion of coal stored 
in the basement where the steam boilers were then located. 
Tho they had been transferred to the big basement pit of the 
old stone building on the North, an occasional danger of a re- 
currence caused me great uneasiness. One evening in 1895 
heavy volumes of smoke and fumes burst forth from the mid- 
dle of our half Winter's supply of coal, which could not be 
suppressed until a gang of workmen had spent almost the en- 
tire night in wheeling up the coal to the outside. The fright 
proved serious enough to move the legislature to provide for 
the erection of a new boiler house farther away and for the 
remodeling of the old one into a long-needed gymnasium. 

A faculty of nine already selected for me constituted my 
first teaching force. They were with one or two exceptions 
excellent instructors and apparently desirous of cooperating 
with me in every possible way. At the end of the first year a 
strong petition was presented to the Regents asking for the 
removal of one of them, alleging a limited knowledge of his 
subjects and general lack of professional skill. The petition- 

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AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

ers were given a personal hearing by the Board and at my 
suggestion the Professor named a few students to present the 
other side. I thereupon advised a year's probation, assuring 
them that he should have every assistance possible to make 
good. They granted it and I urged the petitioners to follow 
the Golden Rule and do the same. Tho both gave it un- 
stintedly he resigned at the end of the year. 

J. N. Wilkinson, principal of the Decatur, Illinois, high 
school, a graduate of the Illinois State Normal University, and' 
a successful teacher, with whom I already had a favorable 
acquaintance, succeeded him. He was one of the best in- 
formed among the schoolmen that I had ever met and at once 
became invaluable to us in various ways exercising a whole- 
some influence on the professional spirit of the Model School 
of which he was also principal as well as over the other mem- 
bers of our faculty whose work was more intimately correlated 
with it. This relieved me from much responsibility in that 
direction and enabled me to devote myself to other phases of 
our work with greater freedom and efficiency. He was a man 
of strong will power and restless energy which was character- 
istic of that always displayed in our relations to each other 
in the seventeen years we were yoke-fellows there. 

At the Spring meeting of the Board of Regents in 1885, 
I was surprised over a written communication from two of 
my Professors asking for certain changes in the internal man- 
agement of the school, accompanied by an intimation that if 
their requests were not granted their resignations might be 
accepted. The specific complaint was that they were being 
ignored by me in administrative matters about which they 
were entitled to more consideration. It happened that I was 
then following the suggestions of one of them in several cases 
and at that time had placed the selection of an assistant in 
his department in his own hands, all of which I explained to 
the Board, and without a word of comment their resignations 
were accepted. 

Their places were filled with those two superb teachers 
whose names will always be recognized among the master 
spirits that created a new era in the educational development 
of Kansas. I refer to Dr. T. H. Dinsmore and Professor M. 
A. Bailey, whose coming to us was one of the most fortunate 
events in our history and whose departure ten years later 
was a loss not easily understood. The former was an enthusi- 
astic advocate of the laboratory method of teaching the natural 
sciences and a skilled manipulator of apparatus. The latter 
was a recognized authority in mathematics and equally strong 
in up-to-date methods of teaching to whose perfecting he had 

[66] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

already given himself unreservedly. The two thus relieved 
me also of anxiety in their specialties and gave me time to 
build up other departments. 

This is an indication of the policy I always observed ; as 
quickly as I could thus reorganize and fairly equip a depart- 
ment, I would turn to the next in order of its urgency. The 
English Department under Professor Viola V. Price was doing 
some fine work when she resigned, asking acceptance, which 
was reluctantly granted. 

We had been gradually enlarging and organizing the 
library so that it was becoming useful to nearly all the de- 
partments when a surprising appropriation of six thousand 
dollars, made possible evidently by the oversight of the 
critical eye of Senator Jumper, and followed by another of four 
thousand for the next biennium enabled us to quadruple our 
library facilities and employ an expert librarian full time. The 
English Department was thus given an equipment more 
worthy of its place in our curriculum. 

The induction of M. Louise Jones as Professor of English. 
at that time gave us the advantage of her ripe scholarship, long 
experience and rare executive powers as a member of the 
library committee and in the extension of the work of her 
department. In a single year all the departments began to 
feel the stimulating influence of the new life in the English 
courses. It ere long reached out into all of our institutional 
activities and became a great factor in the moral and religious 
uplift so characteristic of the School in those days. Ten thou- 
sand students have reason to call her blessed. 

The most capable and aggressive spirit in my first faculty 
was Professor Lillian F. Hoxie of the art and geographical 
departments. She had not been favored with such educational 
opportunities as the other members generally, but had im- 
proved such as she possessed in a remarkable manner. She 
was at home in any circle and her rare conversational powers 
revealed a range of information and a breadth of culture that 
always gave her respectful and interested hearing, but in the 
school room, afire with an enthusiasm that never lagged, she 
exercised an influence seldom excelled. I considered her at 
that time the best all round woman I had ever seen in the 
school-room Her resignation on her marriage in 1887, was 
deplored by the whole profession in Kansas. 

Emily Kuhlmann, of bless'ed memory, was conducting a 
Kindergarten in the Normal building under the immediate 
supervision of Professor Davis of the Model School, who had 
with the approval of President Welch become responsible for 
her salary above that met by the fees. It was used as a sup- 

[67] 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

plcmentary training school and therefore received a small al- 
lowance from the regents. I found the Board disinclined to 
make it an organic part of the School and the above arrange- 
ment continued for the year. In the meantime I quietly 
educated them a little and one day in the Spring when they 
were with us, I said: ''Gentlemen, we spend the hour in our 
pedagogy class today discussing the Kindergarten. Would 
you like to hear it or spend the time in the Kindergarten it- 
self?" Much to my joy they chose the latter and came back 
notifying me that they would unanimously approve my recom- 
mendation to make it an integral part of our work. I think 
that Kindergarten was the first one thus fully recognized in 
any normal school west of the Appalachian mountains. Un- 
der Miss Kuhlmann, whose training and experience in Ger- 
many and France eminently fitted her for its leadership, its 
popularity attracted hundreds of students, teachers and friends 
in increasing numbers thru the years. It practically revolu- 
tionized the primary work in the cities of Kansas long before 
she passed to her reward in 1898. That change was not sim- 
ply in method, but in spirit and devotion as well, for she had 
the happy faculty of transforming even listless, indifferent 
students and teachers into wide-awake, consecrated lovers of 
little children. It was of her I wrote the day we laid her 
away amidst the fragrant flowers : 

Love came this way 

On Mercy's mission bent 
But seeing our Friend 

In gentle ministry, said: 
I am needed elsewhere 

More than here. 

I have often felt that I was divinely led in the selection 
of many members of my faculty, but never more so than when 
I offered the new chair of Latin just established, to Joseph 
H. Hill in 1887. A graduate of the Normal in 1875 and 1876. 
and the Northwestern University in 1887, with several suc- 
cessful years as teacher and principal intervening, he had ac- 
cepted ordination in the M. E. Church and was expecting to 
devote his life to the ministry. He came up to see his alma 
mater one Spring morning and I took a liking to him at once, 
made my proposal and after a frank talk on the rare oppor- 
tunities for service and for helping young men and women 
to a better life which the position offered the deed was done, 
and for nearly twenty years he wielded an influence for higher 
scholarship, purer ideals and holier living not often equalled 
in institutions of higher learning. He quickly caught my own 
ideals in the development of his department and in personal 

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ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

service for his students so that my hands were multiplied 
many times over in his loyal response. It was the most 
natural thing imaginable that later on he should so enthusi- 
astically be called to the executive chair himself. 

The chair of Latin was added in spite of another clause 
in an old appropriation bill limiting the courses in the Normal 
School to those required to give the teachers a good English 
education and aroused some opposition in the legislature 
farther on. It was not difficult to make most intelligent peo- 
ple see its wisdom as well as its necessity, if we were to attract 
the more ambitious and progressive teachers to us. Similar 
opposition met us in our efforts to furnish instruction in 
elecution, music, French and German, advanced courses in 
art, manual training, science, gymnastics, etc. It was argued 
that the school was founded for the purpose of fitting teachers 
for the grade schools only and that we were trespassing on 
the functions of the State University in educating teachers for 
the high schools, for principalships and superintendencies. 
Our reply was that our graduates were going there anyhow 
and that we ought to educate them properly for those posi- 
tions ; that the demand was always far and away beyond the 
supply and further that there are greater reasons for the liberal 
education of the teacher for any grade than could be found 
for those going into other occupations. On this platform we 
campaigned and educated the teachers and the people and 
convinced the legislatures that we were entitled to the in- 
creasing liberal appropriations for which we were asking each 
biennium 

The inauguration of the courses in manual training is 
a good example of the slow process necessary in several cases. 
I was naturally very much interested in its introduction be- 
cause of my predilection for the manual arts, but more par- 
ticularly because I saw the immense educational and voca- 
tional possibilities in its general introduction. There was 
practically none of it in the West outside of St. Louis and 
Chicago, indeed little more in the East. I succeeded in get- 
ting two Swedish instructors in sloyd from Chicago placed 
on the program at the State Teachers' Association, supple- 
menting the allowance from its funds for the expense by per- 
sonal subscriptions among us at Emporia, etc., so as to bring 
them there for a week. Their exhibits and lectures seemed 
interesting to the teachers at Topeka, chiefly on account of 
their novelty, but their visit to us was a distinct and intelligent 
gain for the new movement, several of our teachers and stu- 
dents making a special study of it and taking the laboratory 
work offered. 

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AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

By making a fervid appeal to the Ways and Means Com- 
mittee at Topeka in 1889 for a small allowance to purchase 
initial apparatus, I made a little start in equipping a room in 
the basement and encouraged some voluntary elementary work 
in it which however, was not very satisfactory. An equal ap- 
propriation for the next biennium helped me to keep a little 
life in it, but I had no money to pay for a regular instructor. 
Even if I had, correspondence failed to find an available man 
or woman in the whole country. At last I was fortunate in 
securing Supt. C. W. Woodward of the St. Louis Manual 
Training School for a lecture, which I fixed at the time of the 
meeting of the Regents. He was loaded for the theme and 
made an eloquent and convincing appeal for its introduction 
into the schools of the country. An hour with our Regents 
afterwards made them at one with me in organizing the de- 
partment and employing an expert instructor. I went to St. 
Louis, Chicago, Washington, Brooklyn and Boston in search 
of an instructor and when I had about despaired of securing 
one, I had a call from F. B. Abbott, who was doing vacation 
school work in the subject in the last named city. He had 
taken a good course in it as well as in elementary art work, 
and I was so pleased with his personality that I engaged him. 
Thus after several years' delay we were able to organize the 
department and offer up-to-date courses in advance of many 
other state normal schools in the West so far as known. The 
equipment needed came slowly, but Mr. Abbott patiently 
worked out his problems and was not long in sending forth 
well prepared teachers in response to the demand which later 
came from all directions. He is entitled to a large meed of 
credit for the success of the venture. 

On account of lack of space I find myself embarrassed in 
being unable to give even a brief paragraph to each of a score 
of other teachers who were with us long enough at Emporia 
to organize or enlarge other departments of the school with 
equal efficiency and whose enthusiasm and cooperation also 
contributed in no small measure to its increasing usefulness. 
Whether mentioned or not they are most gratefully remem- 
bered by me and I often recount their fellowship and services 
with affection born of appreciation and gratitude. Among 
others are Sue M. Crichton, the wide-awake untiring elemen- 
tary critic teacher of the Model School ; Martha P. Spencer, 
the great hearted, sweet spirited organizer of the department 
of elocution, Dorman S. Kelly, the devoted and conscientious 
builder of the museum ; Mr. and Mrs. Charles A. Boyle, co- 
professors of music, whose ideal and indefatigable industry 
made their department a most popular feature of the School ; 

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ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

Achsah M. Harris, the rarest primary critic teacher in the' 
Mississippi valley, a mistress in all the arts needed to train 
and inspire teachers of little children ; Mary A. Whitney whose 
social and scholastic equipment constituted an ideal personal- 
ity in the chair of history and civil government which she 
has graced with ever increasing satisfaction to the loyal body 
of young men and women who have flocked to her classes; 
Emma L. Gridley, modest, refined, quietly filling out each day 
in her labor of love as head of the fine arts department ; Daniel 
A. Ellsworth, genial, unassuming, faithful and progressive in 
working out the possibilities of the study of geography in the 
educational scheme; Thomas M. Iden, bachelor, but the 
shepherd of almost half a thousand young men each year 
whom he gathered into that wonderful Upper Room and 
taught the way to live — scholarly, cultured, ever magnifying 
his calling at the head of the department of chemistry ; Lyman 
C. Wooster, whom to know well was an education in itself, 
the eighteen hour a day worker in field and laboratory who 
after a third of a century's study was willing to acknowledge 
that there were some things in the plant and animal life of the 
globe which he did not know ; Eli L. Payne, lightning calcu- 
lator and snappy teacher of mathematics, who could make 
every student have two thoughts where there had been but 
one before, helped everybody by demanding Q. E. D's. on all 
occasions ; Eva McNally, dignified, studious, content to serve 
tho recognition was long delayed, placed hosts of her students 
under lasting obligations for her patient, unflagging zeal in 
helping them to a more skillful use of the English tongue ; 
William C. Stevenson, the self-made, energetic organizer and 
vitalizer of the commercial department and of the military bat- 
talion, everybody's friend and confidential advisor of many a 
discouraged and stranded student, Captain of Company H of 
the 22nd Regiment Kansas Volunteers, largely composed of 
students whose patriotism was ignited by his fiery zeal for his 
country at the opening of the Spanish-American war; Maudie 
L. Stone, a fine example of the results of scientific physical 
culture and an expert instructor in calisthenics and gymnastics 
who reorganized the courses in that department and selected 
the apparatus for the new gymnasium which became so popu- 
lar under her direction; Cora M. Marsland, superfine by birth 
and education, a woman of exquisite literary taste and keenly 
alive to dramatic promise in young men and women, who 
as head of the department of expression for nearly a score of 
years revived the lost art of good reading in hundreds of Kan- 
sas Schools : Sue D. Hoaglin, true-hearted and ardent lover 
of dramatics, who magnified her calling by her devotion to 

[71] 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

her students and her unabating zeal in their behalf. And there 
are others, among them a royal line of assistant instructors 
worthy of unstinted commendation. 

In the selection of my office force I was always most 
fortunate. Tho at first allowed no paid clerk I was able to use 
some student help that gave me relief in extra busy parts of 
the year. A small allowance the second year enabled me to 
engage Miss Lulu Holmes, an advanced student, for a few- 
hours each day. She was quick and accurate, doing a surpris- 
ing amount of work in the time allotted her. Later on she 
also served as instructor, part time, with rare success. Her 
death, due largely w r e thought to overwork, was a distinct loss 
to the institution. She sleeps in Maplewood along side her 
devoted friend, Emily Kuhlmann, where fragrant flowers are 
still dropped, by those who knew and loved them. 

W. S. Picken during his last two years as student, was 
invaluable in helping to organize the office business on a 
more economical basis. He possessed unusual executive abil- 
ity which assured his successful career in the educational 
world afterward. 

L. W. Baxter, alert and resourceful, allowed no oppor- 
tunity to pass unimproved whereby he could make himself 
useful to me and to the School. R. S. Liggett, tho not with- 
me so long was a conscientious and earnest man at the desk. 
A. T. Mills gave two good years in service with us, part time, 
and tho more heavily burdened than his predecessors success- 
fully disposed of details with great satisfaction to us. 

A. S. Newman on his graduation in 1894 became the first 
full time clerk allowed me. He quickly assumed responsibility 
for all office routine and soon took the initiative in improving 
it in a variety of ways. Tho its business had increased many- 
fold with our rapid growth, it was so wisely managed that we 
repeatedly received the highest recommendations for its 
systematic conduct and the uniform accuracy of our reports 
from the State Auditors and State Accountants. 

Our correspondence had long been a burden before w r e 
w r ere provided with a regular stenographer. Maude McKenzie 
quickly relieved us as she gave part time to it and placed all 
of us under deep obligations for her ready response and will- 
ing service. Pearl Stuckey who succeeded her with full time 
service was of the same rare class and most happily fitted 
for the exacting demands of the later nineties. How can I 
sufficiently express my gratitude to all of them for their 
patience and fidelity to their trusts? 

My relations to the several successive boards of Regents 
were extremely cordial. I do not mean by that that w r e always 

[72] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

agreed on everything, which I regarded rather fortunate than 
otherwise, for it sometimes kept me as well as them from 
making serious blunders and insured deliberation in the con- 
sideration of important matters. At the first meeting of the 
new Board in 1883, Mr. Samuel Thanhauser, a man of excel- 
lent sense and tact, proposed that it should not act upon any 
question until it had been so shaped that it would receive a 
unanimous vote. That policy prevailed thru my whole ad- 
ministration, except in rare cases, the dissident "gracefully 
acquiescing in the judgment of the others." 

I took the position that I was their servant not simply 
to carry out their behests but also to enlighten them and 
advise them freely on all administration questions ; that while 
we were jointly responsible for the conduct of the institution, 
my relation to it placed the greater onus upon me and that in 
exercising the liberty in their deliberations which they had 
so kindly given me, I would not hesitate to support my views 
freely as occasion might demand ; that whether they approved 
or rejected them their verdict would always be accepted 
gracefully by me and would be faithfully executed. They 
clarified our relations a little more by stating that they were 
disposed to respect and support my policies and recommenda- 
tions on the internal management of the school with little or 
no question, but that they felt themselves equally competent 
in association with me to pass upon and manage its financial 
affairs, a policy which in my opinion is worthy the attention 
of all boards of control of schools and colleges. 

I discovered that many heads of institutions of all classes 
interested themselves in the appointment of members of their 
boards, but except in one or two cases I did not approach the 
Governor of the State with any suggestions and those were 
to ask the reappointment of men who had been signally use- 
ful to their fellow-members and could not well be spared. A 
friend expressed surprise that I did not make recommenda- 
tions as many others did, but I replied that when I could not 
serve a board of the State's own creation, I would either ask 
them to resign or resign myself, and further that my sense 
of self respect would not allow me to do it, as I would not 
want any member of my board to feel that he was under 
obligations to me for his appointment. Two of the officious 
members of my faculty tried it at one time and the Governor 
politely told them that when he needed their advice he would 
call for it. 

Occasionally a Governor would call me in to ask if a cer- 
tain person would be acceptable to me and two or three times 
appointments of friends were made that I had reason to believe 

[73] 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

were intended as personal compliments ; one of them was 
Judge Nelson Case of Oswego, and the other Hon. Rodolph 
Hatfield of Wichita, the former a classmate of mine in the 
Illinois State Normal University and the latter a former stu- 
dent of mine and a graduate of Lincoln University. Gover- 
nor Stanley was perplexed about some candidates who were 
urged upon him in his second administration and delayed 
action until the last evening for the introduction of new busi- 
ness. As I came into Topeka from a trip East I found, at 
nearly ten o'clock, that he had not sent any nominations for 
our Regents to the Senate. Much alarmed I rushed to his 
office and refreshed his memory. He did not seem disturbed 
but replied that he could not make up his mind about those 
appointments. I turned to his secretary and said, "Please 
give me a sheet of paper and I will send in some names for 
him." The Governor laughed and said, "Mr. Secretary, send 
in the names of J. H. Glotfelter, F. J. Alswager and L. B. 
Kellogg. I don't know what President Taylor will do with 
those two Dutchmen down there, but I guess they are good 
men." 

If space permitted, it would please me greatly to name the 
thirty or more different men who served as regents during my 
administration and to mention my personal appreciation of 
them for valuable services to the institution, not only in 
periods of special need but in the regular conduct of its affairs. 
Many of them gave much valuable time to the furthering of 
its interests in their own localities, in enlightening their 
friends among the legislators regarding its policies and needs 
and at working at the various problems arising from time to 
time. Much praise is due them for their disinterested devo- 
tion to their trust, for with scarcely a single exception none 
of them ever asked me to nominate one of his friends to a 
position in the faculty. I recall now but three cases and I 
found them so satisfactory that they were appointed, serving 
with credit to themselves and to us. Their loyalty to the 
school and their freedom from factional rivalry was ever a 
source of encouragement and inspiration to me. 

The greeting given me by the leading educators of Kan- 
sas in 1882 showed that I would have their ready cooperation 
in my plans for extending the usefulness of the School in 
every possible way. The members of the State Teachers' 
Association made me feel at one with them at the very first 
meeting and in spite of my modest protest honored me greatly 
by electing me president over several very worthy candidates 
at the next session. Again and again was I honored by the 
Kansas teachers in their various organizations and as their 

r 74 1 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

representative in the National Educational Association. Some 
of them kindly made me a life member in the last named, and 
a few of the Emporia business and professional men joined 
in making me a life director in its management. 

I was a member of the Committee on the Kansas Educa- 
tional Exhibit at the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893, having 
personal charge of the collection of the same and its display 
there. I was also one of the vice presidents for Kansas at 
the Pan American Exposition at Buffalo in 1901. I shared 
with others the organization and direction of the Kansas 
Teachers' Reading Circle for several years and served on legis- 
lative committees entrusted with responsibility for formulating 
and securing needed modifications of the school laws. 

In 1891 I was elected a member of the National Council 
of Education, a body of educators organically related to the 
National Association, composed of sixty representative educa- 
tors in the United States. It was therefore a most honorable 
distinction in our educational world, made signally so in my 
case by my election to the presidency of the Council in 1897 
for its meeting in Los Angeles in 1898. One important feature 
introduced by me into the program of that meeting proved 
so popular that it has been repeated each succeeding year. 

One day early in 1901, Governor Stanley called me up 
over the 'phone, asking whether I would be willing to serve 
as a member of the State Text-Book Commission. I re- 
sponded that I was not a candidate, but that if he desired me 
to serve it would give me pleasure. He replied that several 
candidates were being urged for the vacancies, but that he 
desired to have at least one man on the commission of his own 
choosing. There was thus one member whose place sought 
him. 

In 1873 the Lincoln College Alumni Society authorized 
me to publish an Alumni Journal on my own financial respon- 
sibility, assuring me of its hearty cooperation. I published 
it for about three years, making annual reports thru the board 
of directors As I look over that neat publication, I consider 
it, as I did then, worthy of a very generous support not only 
by the alumni and students, but by all friends of the Univer- 
sity. That failed to come in the way of subscriptions and 
after the usual sacrificing struggles to float it, I made my final 
report to the society, announcing an indebtedness of three 
figures and advised its discontinuance. That journalistic ex- 
perience however, was remarkably fine training for me as it 
gave me serious practice in writing, in criticism and in other 
rhetorical lines in which I considered myself lamentably de- 
ficient for "a professor in a university." 

[75 1 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

In my lectures and in newspaper and magazine articles I 
attained such standing that in 1887 I was invited by the 
Board of Publication of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church 
to write a book on the Sunday School for its forthcoming 
series of uniform volumes for general circulation. Having 
delivered many addresses on the subject at Sunday School 
conventions and chautauquas, I at once accepted and out of 
it came "The Church at Work in the Sunday School," which 
had a very satisfactory sale and which, I have often been as- 
sured assisted and inspired a large number of workers to a 
more efficient service. 

In 1896 Cowperthwait & Co. of Philadelphia, asked me 
to prepare a little book on "Civil Government in Kansas," 
which went into the institutes and schools of the State as a 
supplement to a more general treatise on civil government in 
the United States. It proved to be a very helpful handbook 
to students and to others for ready reference. 

The State Normal School Quarter-Centennial in 1889 sug- 
gested the publication of its history, which I undertook with 
the assistance of some of my faculty, more especially of Secre- 
tary J. N. Wilkinson. A vast amount of searching and veri- 
fication was required to insure accuracy and proper credit 
to all who had contributed to the founding- and upbuilding of 
the School. Fortunately files of daily papers and the carefully 
preserved clippings of its first Principal, L. B. Kellogg, were 
at our disposal, besides office records and personal reminis- 
cences of other former administrative officers, everyone of 
whom was living at that time. 

That history, the first of its kind in Kansas proved inter- 
esting reading to many others outside of our immediate circle 
and was a revelation to all wdio read it. Ex-State Superintend- 
ent Goodenow, whose genius suggested and assisted in the 
establishment of the School originally, wrote us in most en- 
thusiastic appreciation and commendation, lauding the editor 
in the highest terms. 

The Child-Study movement interested me from the first 
and I talked on the subject in many parts of the State, awaken- 
ing teachers and parents to its importance and possibilities and 
stimulating discussion and organization for its extension. A 
Child Study Section was organized in the State Teachers Asso- 
ciation which aroused much interest, especially among lower 
grade teachers, superintendents, principals, physicians and 
mothers. Many appeals came to me to write a book on the 
subject, for as yet there was little available printed matter 
aside from that in the magazines that could enlighten teachers 
on the subject. I said that I had not made a scientific study 

[76] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

of the problems involved and could not attempt it. Among 
those most urgent for me to prepare it were Mr. and Mrs. 
O. P. Barnes of Leavenworth. The former as the represen- 
tative of Ginn & Co. replied that a strictly scientific treatise 
was not demanded, but one which the average teacher and 
parent could understand, a semi-popular introduction to the 
theme along the lines of my addresses. He also stated that 
his firm would be glad to publish the volume for me. Mrs. 
Barnes said that my talk to the teachers of Leavenworth had 
resulted in awakening investigations which were already bear- 
ing much fruit, mentioning particularly the case of her own 
young daughter. She said that anyone who could do that, 
for one city ought to be able to write a helpful book for gen- 
eral circulation in all. 

At last I began to take the matter seriously, and in my 
next Summer vacation while moping about at home with a 
low malarial fever suddenly said to myself: "Here I have 
been dreaming about an elementary psychology for teachers for 
years and have been filing notes for use in it some day. A 
book on Child Study should be practically an elementary 
treatise on genetic psychology", and in a few minutes the out- 
line of a volume had fairly developed in my mind. Mr. Barnes 
had suggested that the State Teachers' Reading Circle would 
hail such a book for adoption at its February meeting and 
that the MSS. ought to be ready for submission to its mem- 
bers early in January. That would give me about twenty 
weeks for the twenty contemplated chapters. 

Tho I knew my regular work in the Normal would be 
very exacting, I decided to undertake it at odd hours. It 
took me some little time to get the swing, but when it came 
I reeled off a chapter each week with surprising ease and 
without the necessity of consulting my notes half a dozen 
times all told. I probably spent less than ten hours in con- 
sulting authorities, and that was largely for the purpose of 
verifying data which I wished to use ; all of which shows how 
fully I had assimilated the materials I had been gathering 
for years for the other book and how completely I had become 
absorbed in the investigations of the problems of the child. 

Mr. Barnes asked me to go before the Reading Circle 
Board and exploit the book and as I was awaiting its call 
in an adjoining room, one of the members came out, stating 
that they had decided to adopt it, provided I would publish 
it myself. J told him that I could not do it but that Ginn 
& Co. would do so. He replied that they had the contract 
for the year just ending and that it had definitely decided not 
to give it to them again for that year. He further stated that 

[77 1 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

they had already agreed to give the contract for the companion 
book to D. Appleton & Co. ; that it would be a saving to the 
board if both books could be furnished by them and asked that 
I see their representative about publishing mine. 

Appleton's agent said that he could not promise that the 
book would go into the International Educational Series, for 
its editor, Dr. W. T. Harris, U. S. Commissioner of Education, 
had stipulated that he have the utmost freedom in making it 
up. Imagine my pleasure when I received a note from him 
a fortnight later stating that he had practically decided to 
give it a place there tho he wanted a little further reading. 
In a few days the first batch of MSS. came back with the 
doctor's annotations and suggestions. I was greatly surprised 
that they w T ere not more numerous, for I had been told that 
he was a merciless critic, taking much liberty with author's 
views as well as with sentential construction. I was glad to 
make the few changes asked and grateful that nothing material 
was requested, for a friend had told me that he would never 
approve my chapter on the Will without fundamental modifica- 
tions. In his introduction to the volume he calls it "A sane 
and wholesome treatment of the subject," and skillfully paved 
the way for the discussion to follow. 

It was published early in 1898 and was received with 
great cordiality by the profession and I was overcome by the 
responses from all directions. In less than a month after its 
publication, the retiring Minister of Elementary Education for 
Chili translated it into Spanish for use in the Spanish-Ameri- 
can Republics and later Professor Saito of one of the Japanese 
National Normal Schools translated it into Japanese. The 
latter wrote me a very appreciative letter a few years after- 
wards stating that it had been invaluable in extending the 
vision and dignifying the work of the teacher among his 
country-men. A later enquiry by the Editor of the New York 
School Journal, asking leading teachers in South America to 
name the book that in the two or three years preceding had 
made the greatest impression on the profession in their re- 
spective countries, brought responses naming The Study of 
the Child in a great majority of cases, and in practically every 
one of a large number from Argentina. The title given was 
Estndo del Nino. 

The book was soon adopted by the State Teachers' "Read- 
ing Circles of Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, New York and else- 
where in addition to Kansas. It was not long in reaching a 
circulation of nearly 30,000 copies and is still in some demand. 
The good that it has done is a far more acceptable reward 
than the neat little royalty following. 

[78 1 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

In connection with the revised course of study for the 
county institutes mentioned elsewhere, State Superintendent 
Edmund Stanley and I prepared a little companion volume 
called "Apple Blossoms" for the purpose of illustrating apper- 
ception and correlation then at the front and supplying a 
variety of ready material for the class room. 

For the purpose of economizing in our advertising and 
keeping in touch with absent and prospective students I 
early began the issue of the State Normal Quarterly, followed 
later by the Monthly for whose business management I em- 
ployed Prof. W. C. Stevenson of the Commercial Department.. 
It was a valuable adjunct to publicity and contained much 
helpful information for teachers. For some time I ran a 
column or two under the heading "Among Ourselves or A 
Superintendent with his Friends at the Round Table," which 
I later bound loosely for distribution to my classes in pedagogy 
as a text for free discussion week on the practical side of the 
subject. It aroused so much interest that I yielded to requests 
for its publication and E. L. Kellogg & Co. put it out in 
1900 in their Reading Circle Library. It brought many 
favorable comments and gave me a warm place in the hearts 
of teachers of all grades. Equally as gratifying was the 
almost immediate offer of the head editorship of a series of 
weekly and monthly educational periodicals with a combined 
circulation of 300,000, by one of the best known houses in the 
East, prompted, the writer said, by its rare spirit and tactful 
method. Tho sorely tempted I was not then ready to leave 
my work at Emporia. In 1912, my old friend, O. P. Barnes of 
Chicago, purchased the plates and issued the book in a new 
dress with a few handsome illustrations and a preliminary 
article by me, — "An Appreciation of the Kansas School- 
master." 

In the same year, 1900, Judge L. B. Kellogg, first Presi- 
dent of the State Normal School and Ex-Attorney General of 
Kansas and I prepared a popular text on the Government of 
the State and Nation, the particular State being Kansas for 
whose schools it was designed. It was published by D. C. 
Heath & Co. of Boston and at once adopted by the State Text 
Book Commission under a five-year contract. Over seventy 
thousand copies were sold, when with a change in the member- 
ship of the Commission, it was replaced by another, tho 
financially we had been well paid for our labor. 

Just relieved from the pressure of all this outside work, 
I hesitated to accept an invitation to prepare a very elaborate 
and comprehensive article on pedagogy for the two-volume 
"New Students Reference Work for the Use of Students, 

[79] 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

Teachers and Families," soon to be issued by the C. B. Beach 
& Company, New York and Chicago. As I was moving to 
Decatur in July 1901, I thought perhaps it might be wise to 
undertake it. After blocking it out, I secured the assistance 
of a few of the members of my Kansas faculty in their special- 
ties and have ever taken much pride in the result as the climax 
of my strictly pedagogical publications while at the State 
Normal School. 

The Populist uprising in Kansas was the most sensational 
and significant movement in civic affairs during my adminis- 
tration. Tho at first a purely rural secret organization for 
the avowed purpose of studying economic problems along with 
others affecting the welfare of agricultural communities and 
with a clause in its constitution forbidding the discussion of 
partisan politics at its meetings. Nevertheless, as soon as it 
practically included every school district in Kansas, it pro- 
ceeded to organize a political party and at the very first State 
election converted a Republican majority of 82,000 to a Popu- 
list majority of over 15,000. This was made possible by an 
auxiliary organization known as the Citizens Alliance, com- 
posed of citizens of the towns and cities following other than 
rival occupations. 

Strong pressure was brought upon me during that hot 
political campaign by a Republican committee to permit a 
Republican club to be organized at the State Normal School. 
This was against the rule prohibiting political clubs there be- 
cause I found that they were engendering undesirable animos- 
ity and occupying entirely too much of the students' time even 
in class hours. Stress was laid upon the statement that the 
Populists were opposed to education and that they would 
disrupt the State Educational institutions. Tho a Republican 
myself I declined to consent, insisting that public institutions 
should be strictly non-partisan in their management, tho the 
faculty and students in their private relations should be en- 
couraged to take an active interest in political affairs and I 
publicly advised them to join such clubs in the city if they 
so desired. I also said to the committee that as the Populist 
party was composed almost exclusively of men educated in 
our public schools I did not fear any such overturning of our 
long cherished institutions as predicted. 

The first Populist legislature, however, reduced salaries 
and made such changes in the administration of our finances 
that we lost some of our best teachers. The faculties of the 
State University and State Agricultural College were even 
more seriously affected, the Chancellor and President respect- 
ively being asked to resign by the new boards of Regents. 

r so ] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

Other changes were made in their faculties so as to insure 
the propagation of the economic and political principles of the 
party platform. In my first conference with Governor Lewell- 
ing in 1893 he assured me that, while many changes in other 
classes of institutions would be made, he would tolerate none 
in the educational work for mere political reasons. Some of 
my friends were anxious about the presidency of the State 
Normal School but his appointees on the board soon became 
my warm personal friends and as ardent for my policies as 
others had been. 

A most distressful situation occurred with the assembling 
of the legislature in 1893. The Senate was strongly Populist, 
but the face of the returns showed one Republican majority 
in the house counting an independent Republican elected 
largely by Populist votes. The Populists claimed that he was 
under obligations to vote with them in the organization of the 
House as well as on their pet legislative bills, which he had 
agreed to support and, claiming that they had been tricked, 
proceeded at once to organize the House on the roll made up 
by the retiring Secretary of State excluding from voting sev- 
eral Republicans against whose seats Populist contestants 
appeared. The Republicans, having certificates making one 
majority, also organized amid much confusion, which con- 
tinued for a few days as the two Speakers endeavored to 
conduct the business of the rival organizations in the House 
chamber. 

One night the Populists stole a march on the Republicans 
and when the latter appeared the next morning found them- 
selves locked out with Populist sergeants-at-arms in force 
guarding all the doors and excluding all but the faithful. An 
appeal to the Governor received no response and next day 
while the Populist representatives were out at luncheon, the 
hall being in charge of the sergeants-at-arms, the Republican 
House marched up to the big doors and demanded admittance. 
Being refused, Speaker Douglass broke down the doors with 
a sledge and all rushed in, ejecting the opposition guards and 
installing their own. They also swore in a large number of 
sergeants and guarded every accessible avenue. Thus the 
Populists were neatly beaten at their own game. 

They then made a formal demand for admittance and 
being refused also appealed to the Governor. He ordered out 
the militia for the purpose of keeping the peace but did not 
attempt to oust the Republican House. The Topeka chief of 
police swore in an additional force of men and stationed them 
about the capital grounds for the same purpose. The situation 
was exceedingly tense and a large number of Republicans 

[81] 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

were rushed in on the night trains and sworn in as sergeants- 
at-anns, the House end of the capital being surrounded with 
armed men and the chamber itself being strongly barricaded. 

The whole State was soon in wild excitement and all sorts 
of sensational rumors filled the air. Partisan feeling reminded 
one of that following the attack on Ft. Sumter. Telegrams 
and letters poured into Topeka offering assistance to the 
belligerents in the maintenance of their rights and internecine 
war seemed imminent at any moment. The Republicans had 
wisely laid in a stock of provisions and each day received 
other rations thru outside friends, thus avoiding capture and 
maintaining their legal quorum. Having already been recog- 
nized by the Governor and the Senate, the Populist House 
fitted up a large room in the north wing basement of the State 
Capitol building and proceeded quietly with its business. The 
Republican House also went on with its business and appealed 
to the Supreme Court for an injunction against its rival. A 
tacit truce followed, tho neither side failed to protect itself 
against a surprise from the other. 

We were almost suffocating at the Normal School for 
want of room and were very solicitous about our appropria- 
tions, particularly the item of $50,000 for a new wing and a 
new assembly room. ]t was therefore essential that we keep 
on good terms with all factions and avoid offending the leaders. 
The Populist House held its sessions with closed doors, no 
one without proper credentials being admitted. Tho free to 
come and go in the Senate and in the Republican House, I 
was advised not to attempt entering the other one, so I sent 
Professor J. H. Hill, probably the mildest mannered and most 
diplomatic member of our faculty, who was supposed to be 
an independent in politics and to have voted the Populist 
ticket, to keep in touch with affairs there. He did the work 
well and our interests had kindly consideration as far as they 
advanced. It afterwards developed however, that Professor 
Hill had voted the Republican ticket and that Professor Wil- 
kinson, a senior instructor and also a good diplomat, who 
was not sent because he was supposed to be a simon-pure 
Republican, had in reality voted about all the Populist ticket. 

Forty of the sixty days, the constitutional limit of the 
session, had expired and the House muddle was still on with 
no prospect of a compromise thru the committees considering 
it. Legislative matters of vital importance, including all 
appropriation bills were making little or no progress. In my 
conferences with many members of both Houses I had become 
convinced of the honest desire of the rank and file among them 
to come together in a friendly spirit and adjust their differ- 

[82 1 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

ences, some of them having told me that "if the leaders would 
just get out of the way we could settle our differences very 
quickly." I also had become convinced of the personal friend- 
ship and confidence of so many of them that I decided to 
propose a plan of my own for the solution of the problem. 

In brief it was, that until the Supreme Court announce its 
long delayed decision, the two Houses should meet together, 
their Speakers presiding on alternate days and their different 
committees sitting together in considering all bills ; that no 
bills should be passed beyond the second reading by such 
joint House, but that immediately upon action by the Supreme 
Court all parties would quietly acquiesce and recognize the 
authority of the House declared by it to be legal. 

I submitted it to our representative D. W. Eastman, and 
to Hon. William Martindale, a recognized Republican leader 
and also to John Watson, a pillar in the Populist party in 
Lyon County, all of whom approved it heartily and agreed 
to go with me to Topeka on the noon train to present it to 
the caucuses of the two parties that evening. I remained at 
my room at the hotel, the others going to their caucuses for 
that purpose. About midnight Mr. Eastman came in and 
reported that it would undoubtedly carry in the Republican 
caucus by a good majority the next night if there was a 
prospect of its doing so in the other caucus ; that few opposed 
it ; two or three insisting that there was a nigger in it some- 
where, one declaring that it was undoubtedly written by Gov- 
ernor Lewelling or some other astute politician. He replied 
in the negative to this charge, however, merely saying that it 
was submitted by a Republican whose integrity and purpose 
would not be questioned by any of them. 

Mr. Watson soon came in, but he had met with strong 
opposition from the bell-wethers, most of whom, he said, feared 
that they might lose their positions and salaries by it. He 
found that some one had sent a wire from Emporia warning 
them to be on their guard against the wiles of a trio who were 
en route for Topeka, and that therefore he was greatly handi- 
capped in his mission of peace. It developed in his conferences 
that some radicals had determined not to acquiesce in the 
court's decision if against them. On the other hand, it also 
developed that in such a contingency the Republicans had 
decided to enforce the court's mandate if necessary by force 
of arms. This meant war and I resolved to try another plan. 

The Rev. Pearse Pinch was pastor of the First Congre- 
gational Church at Emporia at that time and as the Governor 
had been a member of his church at Wichita, I felt that he 
might have some influence with him. I proposed to him that 

r 83 1 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

he go to the Governor and make him acquainted with the 
tenseness of the underlying feeling as I had found it and the 
imminent danger of civil war, should he refuse to recognize 
the authority of the supreme court. While assuring me of the 
intimate friendship between them, he doubted his ability to 
accomplish anything. In response to my urging he at last 
said that if I felt it was his duty he would go on the morning- 
train and make the appeal which I suggested. 

The Governor received him most cordially and encouraged 
him to speak with the utmost frankness. In response, he 
said that under all the circumstances he could not have acted 
otherwise than he had done and was greatly pleased that there 
had been no bloodshed in the heated condition of the affairs 
in the capital and that he had fully made up his mind to be 
governed by the decision of the Court when rendered. He 
then asked Mr. Pinch to call on his wife and daughters at his 
hotel as they had been practically ostracised by the good peo- 
ple of the city during the unpleasantness. He did so and 
spent a most delightful hour with them. In making his report 
to me he seemed as much pleased that I had urged him to go 
as I was with the result. The Court soon rendered its decision 
in favor of the Republican House, and the war cloud van- 
ished. 

Our appropriation bills, including that one for our new 
wing, were passed by an almost unanimous vote, tho a few 
disgruntled Populists tried to defeat the wing because I would 
not expel the few Normal boys, who had been called up at mid- 
night and rushed to Topeka to serve as sergeants-at-arms for 
the Republicans. To one representative who threatened me 
that unless it was done he would vote against it, I replied 
that as not one of the hundreds in both parties who had been 
shaking their fists up there and brandishing their revolvers 
in each others faces had been or would be punished, it would 
be unreasonable to punish those impulsive young fellows sim- 
ply because we had the power and that I would have none of it. 

The annual income of the State Normal School for 1882-3 
was but $14,925 of which $9,000 met the salary schedule. 
Both had become more than double in 1889 not including the 
legislative appropriations for improvement and equipment. 
The legislature of 1901 more than quadrupled its appropria- 
tions of the earlier nineties excluding a sixty thousand provi- 
sion for a new library building, all of which came without 
the usual personal lobbying — evidence of the standing of the 
School at that time. 

Early in the nineties, I led in organizing the Current Club 
in the city, W. A. White being our first president. It was 

r 84 1 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

composed of some choice spirits and met at the homes of the 
members, and continues to be an influential factor in the city's 
forward-looking life. 

On invitation of the officers of the Pertle Springs, Mo., 
Encampment, I delivered a course of lectures there on the 
Sunday-School in several summer vacations in the later 
eighties which furnished a fine outing for myself and my little 
family, making us many new friends and bringing us in touch 
again with scores of former ones whose fellowship we greatly 
enjoyed. The outlines for those lectures became the frame 
work for the "Church at Work in the Sunday School" men- 
tioned elsewhere. At that time the Missouri Valley College 
was organizing, and I was asked to accept the presidency. It 
did not seem wise to do so, tho I deeply appreciated the 
proffer. In the next fifteen years I was approached by repre- 
sentatives of several of our church and other colleges with 
similar propositions. The best state normal schools in Wis- 
consin and Minnesota did me that honor. To all of these 
kind people I made the one reply, that while there might be 
good reasons for going, I saw none for leaving, for my work 
at Emporia did not seem then to be finished. 

With the founding of The James Millikin University at 
Decatur in 1901 however, a call came that gave me very 
serious concern. Being under the supervision of the synods 
of my church in Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa, in whose bounds 
so many hundreds of my former students lived and held 
responsible positions, and offering such a great opportunity 
for the establishment of a modern institution of learning on 
a comprehensive basis, it was attractive beyond almost any- 
thing else which had ever opened to me. Dr. W. J. Darby 
of the Commission entrusted with the responsibility of select- 
ing a president, assured me that the synods were unanimous 
in their desire for me to organize and develop it. His letters 
and personal appeals were seconded by many others and in 
February, 1901, I made a visit to Decatur for the purpose of 
informing myself as fully as possible concerning local condi- 
tions, local sentiment, and the feasibility of building up a 
college of the character proposed. 

Mr. I. R. Mills, whose guest I was, invited a score of 
leading business and professional men to a dinner in his 
spacious home which gave me an introduction to the kind of 
men I could depend upon in the undertaking. Later in the 
evening I met perhaps seventy-five more in the Decatur Club 
rooms, who spoke enthusiastically and hopefully of the enter- 
prise. Dr. Darby and Mr. J. T. Foster, president of the Board 
of Trustees of Lincoln University, among others from outside. 

r 85 1 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

made stirring addresses. I outlined my conception of the in- 
stitution which I believed could be successfully established 
and the benefits which would inure to Decatur. Tho my 
reception was most cordial and my confidence in the outcome 
well grounded, I hesitated to commit myself to acceptance, 
for we were just coming into our own in Kansas and no other 
state normal school in the country had a better standing or 
a more promising future. On our way to Lincoln the next 
morning, I urged Dr. Darby to excuse me and accept it him- 
self. For various reasons, he said it was impossible, his 
health and lack of experience being prohibitive. At a confer- 
ence that afternoon and evening, the situation clarified some- 
what and my friend Foster deplored any further hesitation 
on my part. 

As Mr. Millikin was absent when I visited Decatur, I 
decided to interview him personally. I found him clearly 
pleased with the choice of the Commission and prepared to 
contribute his surplus income and that of his estate in per- 
petuity for the maintenance of the college. We came to an 
understanding on the ideals he hoped to realize in the found- 
ing of the school and his expectations for its management. He- 
said that I would fulfill them, if in five or six years our stand- 
ards ranked us well among the best colleges in the Mississippi 
valley and we enrolled 500 or 600 students ; that he wanted it 
to be unsectarian in its internal management and commending 
itself to all classes of people. We discussed problems of 
management in which he stated that he supposed I knew my 
business and that he wished me to have the fullest liberty 
in the conduct of the affairs of the institution ; that he favored 
liberal salaries for responsible heads of departments, citing 
his own policy in the management of his bank, and naming 
the approximate income from his estate upon which I could 
depend. He took me into his confidence and explained the 
provisions of his will and his plan for the management of his 
estate thru five trustees whom he named to me. In a further 
conference with some mutually intimate friends, I was assured 
that he had been very modest in the statement of his income 
and that his word was as good as his bond. Before leaving 
Decatur, the committee to select a president, Dr. Darby, Mr. 
Foster, and Mr. J. K. McDavid, representing respectively the 
Board of Trustees of the University and the two Boards of 
Managers, made me a formal tender of the office at a salary 
of five thousand dollars. 

I promised an early response and went directly to Hayes 
City, Kansas, for a meeting of our Regents to examine the 
military reservation there which Congress and the state legis- 

[86] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

lature had set apart for an Auxiliary State Normal School and 
an experiment station for the State Agricultural College. I 
had informed them of my conferences with the Illinois au- 
thorities and now gave them the result of my last trip. They 
protested vigorously against my going and immediately ad- 
vanced my salary one thousand dollars saying that if more 
would retain me they would like to know it. I thanked them 
heartily and told them that I must finally decide the question 
on other grounds. The newspapers now exploited the offer 
and I was soon greatly embarrassed by many letters from 
our church people and others urging acceptance of the Millikin 
position, and from the Normal Alumni generally together 
with educational friends and others in Kansas, urging with 
equal ardor that I remain at Emporia. 

Duty's call to Illinois, however, seemed so clear that when 
the Regents assembled for their commencement week session, 
I very reluctantly handed in my resignation and wired accept- 
ance of the Decatur offer. As I came into the outer office 
rooms, I found some of my associates in tears and so many 
others met me in like manner that I felt almost like a crim- 
inal. Congratulations and expressions of pleasure from the 
East and protests and regrets from all directions in the West, 
kept me busy answering them for nearly a month. All of 
them breathed affection and confidence at once so surprising 
and gratifying that I longed to divide my personality and 
serve both institutions ; indeed, the Regents proposed to me 
to continue at Emporia directing affairs for a year and giving 
such time to Decatur as might be needed for the preliminary 
work of erecting buildings and securing a faculty. The sug- 
gestion had additional force because of our delightful associa- 
tions with the good people of Emporia, who had all these 
years been our faithful and devoted friends, but it did not 
seem feasible in view of the eagerness of the Illinois people 
to inaugurate the work there with as little delay as possible. 

That commencement week was the crowning event of my 
administration, tho everything in it had a tinge of sadness, 
which however, has perhaps made it more precious in our 
memory. The graduating class, the alumni, the regents and 
faculty adopted complimentary resolutions and kind words 
came to us on every opportune occasion. The Regents had 
assured me that they did not wish any change in the policy of 
the School and asked my advice about a successor. Logically 
there was but one man to name and that was my vice president, 
Professor J. N. Wilkinson, who had for sixteen years been 
my confidential adviser and unwavering friend. He was 
unanimously appointed and he and I were named as a com- 

[87] 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

mittee to select instructors to fill vacancies occurring and new 
chairs needed. We were extremely fortunate in our choices, 
for those secured by us immediately became forceful factors 
in working out the larger problems which the liberal appro- 
priations of the last legislature now made possible. 

The more friendly relations with the non-state colleges 
resulting from the State Board of Education legislation hereto- 
fore mentioned, and the co-operation for higher standards now 
so marked made it increasingly easy each session for us to 
secure needed appropriations for equipment and instructors. 
Lobbying to protect our interests and secure necessary funds 
for so large and rapidly growing an institution had always 
been distasteful to me for I had in the earlier years so often 
come out of those strenuous campaigns utterly exhausted, 
that I was exceedingly grateful for the change. Nothing 
could illustrate better how fully we were coming into our own 
than this brief story: 

In my report to the Regents in 1900 I asked for $75,000 
for a new library building and about $100,000 for the next 
biennium for repairs and current expenses. Governor Stanley 
invited us to meet him and the Secretary of State in his office 
to discuss the estimates. He stated that he was opposed to 
heads of state institutions spending their time in Topeka 
lobbying for their bills ; that the constitution made it obliga- 
tory upon him and the Secretary of State to use their judgment 
in recommending appropriations for their support ; and that 
they would take the responsibility of getting them thru that 
time. That sounded good, but so good that I was very skepti- 
cal of its feasibility. He said that if the committees sent for 
us, of course we must respond, but that he had sufficient faith 
in the new legislature to believe that it would respect their 
recommendations. They spent some hours in going over the 
items, hearing our reasons for them and comparing them with 
those of other educational institutions, finally announcing that 
they would reduce the library estimate to $60,000, advance 
a few smaller items to insure a little margin and make the 
total including the library about $150,000. To my great satis- 
faction, it proved unnecessary for me to appear before the ways 
and means committee of either house to justify a single item 
or to seek the support of a single legislator, so cordial was 
their attitude towards us. It was almost a millennial situa- 
tion and made it additionally difficult for me to listen to the 
call elsewhere. 

All of the governors had been very kind to us, showing 
deep interest, in the School and in me personally, but my 
relations with Governor Stanley were more intimate than with 

[88] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

any preceding him. When I went to his office to bid him 
farewell just before leaving for the East, he strongly em- 
phasized his regret and as he took my arm and walked to 
the lobby with me said : "Somehow or other, I have always 
been able to get nearer to you than to the head of any other 
State institution." 

During those nineteen years, I met perhaps a thousand 
state officers including legislators personally, many of them in 
the interest of other than purely educational affairs and with 
very few exceptions found them honorable, affable gentlemen, 
considerably above the proportion one usually finds in 
mingling with a similar number of men in other walks of life. 
No one of them, however unsavory a reputation Dame Rumor 
had given him, ever intimated that his assistance could be 
secured for a consideration or that he expected remuneration 
for his service. 

I wish here to record my warm appreciation of the mem- 
bers of the State Board of Education with whom it was my 
privilege to be associated intimately as an ex-officio member, 
in the handling of the many important educational and admin- 
istrative problems which came before it. Some of them were 
such rare spirits that they live with me yet in ever increasing 
uplift and fellowship. Among the earlier ones, I must take 
space to mention President George T. Fairchild of the State 
Agricultural College, that cultured, genial spirit who lived on 
too high a plane to be selfish ; Chancellor Marvin of the State 
University, and that sterling, high-minded, generous hearted 
man who succeeded him, Chancellor Lippincott. All of them 
have gone to their reward and their works do follow them. 

The State Superintendents were kindly disposed toward 
the Normal School and its ideals and aided us very materially 
with kindly counsel and cooperation. Mr. H. C. Speer, in 
office as I located at Emporia, was a progressive, far-seeing 
scholar with high educational ideals and was very helpful as 
adviser and friend. His entrance into other business was a 
distinct loss to the State. I acknowledge with pleasure my 
personal obligations. 

Commencement over, I had a little time to read the com- 
plimentary newspaper mentions of my departure and the 
friendly tributes to my services to the School and the State. 
The catalog showed a total attendance of 2,135, for the year. 
The summer school now opening with an enrollment of 600, 
required much attention, tho I was allowed sufficient time to 
get my official house in order to turn over to my successor 
on June 30. A day or two before, as we were engaged in our 
last general chapel exercise, I heard voices in the stairway 

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AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

entering the hall to the right and soon a hundred or more 
little people from the model school below marched in across 
the rostrum front and began bombarding me with flowers. 
Somebody slipped Mrs. Taylor and our two daughters out to 
my side from the rear and at a signal from the chorister, the 
whole great company rose with flowers in their hands and 
marched around the hall and down in front, literally covering 
us with the fragrant love tokens and affectionate demonstra- 
tions. How could I do aught but smile and throw kisses to 
them and stammer out heartfelt thanks from me and mine? 
Then followed formal expressions of appreciation and good 
wishes for happy days and successful results at Decatur, to 
all of which I responded announcing it as my graduating 
address and pledging abiding loyalty to it, my second alma 
mater, and to my Kansas friends generally. 

The first graduating classes at Emporia had continued 
the custom of making a handsome present to the president of 
the institution, but I soon asked them to discontinue it and 
give something worth while to the school instead. 

Little material tokens would come along occasionally any- 
how from some of them, and on June 18, 1888 at the last 
assembly mass meeting for the year, the platform being filled 
with visitors, a handsome man approached with a smiling 
salaam and in a spicy speech presented me with a fine Howard 
watch inscribed as from the "Regents, Faculty, Alumni and 
Students of the K. S. N." As I stood smiling at it in my 
hand, helpless for Avords, my old Illinois State Normal Uni- 
versity instructor, first principal of K. S. N. broke the spell 
by crying out, "What time is it, Mr. President?'' I had to 
acknowledge myself outwitted, but assured them that I was 
like the old darkey bride-groom "pufectly willin' " ; that I had 
often said that when I became rich, I would buy me a gold 
watch ; that with that beautiful time piece came a supreme 
satisfaction that I was already rich, — rich in friends ! 

Another peculiar "evasion" came later, in the full length 
oil portrait of myself which the class of 1898 placed in the 
library. One which I also prize greatly was a beautiful set 
of Eugene Field's works, who was a classmate of mine in 
Knox College, given me on my fiftieth anniversary by the 
class of 1897. Each graduating class for many years, remem- 
bered me with its class ring or pin, some of which are of rare 
design and make up a choice box of real jewels. On my 
appearance at the Alumni reunion at the holiday meeting of 
the State Teachers' Association at Topeka in 1901, President 
Wilkinson motioned for silence and then said that my sudden 
decision to leave Kansas at the previous commencement had 

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ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

precluded general action of the Alumni to present me with a 
suitable token of their esteem, but that they were now taking- 
advantage of my presence to do so. Then unveiling a most 
beautiful white marble plaque with a chaste full-relief of "Sun- 
shine" by Wm. Couper, Florence, as the embodiment of the 
good will to me and mine radiating from thousands of Kansas 
Alumni, he begged its acceptance with continued assurance 
of their friendship and interest. 

They did not allow us to forget them even with this ex- 
quisite token, for felicitous telegrams and greetings followed' 
us at Millikin as the inaugurating events occurred, and a 
year does not yet pass but that we have many love letters 
from far and near that keep our memory green and add to the 
accumulating riches of our mellowing years. 

I would be untrue to myself if I close this chapter without 
expressing the life-long appreciation of myself and my family 
to the good people of Emporia for their kind personal interest 
in us and their sympathetic cooperation in building up and 
maintaining one of the best equipped and forward-looking 
teacher's training institutions in this country. The revolving 
years but deepen an affection born in such an atmosphere and 
nurtured in such a fellowship. 



\9l 



Part IV 

The Jammes Millikin University 
19014913 

Disposing of our residence at some sacrifice to President 
Wilkinson, I came on to Decatur, reporting for duty on July 1. 
Under the wing of my friend and cousin, Isaac R. Mills, Presi- 
dent of the Board of Managers, a couple of surreys carried 
me, along with Mr. Millikin and a majority of the board 
members to inspect the various sites offered for the home of 
the college, nearly half a dozen in all. During the day, I 
became quite well acquainted with Mr. Millikin and discovered 
that he was peeved a little about something. 

We were all entertained at dinner in the evening at the 
home of Mr. T. T. Roberts, Dr. W. H. Penhallegon being my 
right hand table-mate, with whom I exchanged views on the 
outlook and policy of the enterprise. I was most pleasantly 
impressed with the personnel of the men who were to be 
my counsellors, especially with their good sense and enthusi- 
asm. The day had been insufferably hot and the evening 
was scarcely less so, but we forgot the heat in our after-dinner 
talk on the veranda. 

There I learned the reason for the mood which I had 
fathomed in Mr. Millikin. Mr. Roberts called attention to 
the fact that the board was not yet ready to decide on a site, 
for Mr. Millikin's promised donation was not available until 
the subscriptions and notes from the city and the church had 
been collected or at least had been approved by a designated 
committee and accepted by him ; that my arrival there in 
accordance with the agreement with the appointment com- 
mittee was premature and that all further constructive activ- 
ities should await such acceptance and transference. There 
was unanimous acquiescence in the suggestion with the assur- 
ance that I would find plenty to do in the interim. The 
revelation disturbed me not a little, but I was much pleased 
to find that T was working with men who would co-operate 

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AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

with me in conducting the affairs of the college in a business- 
like way, which was no slight discovery for my first day. 

The action of the board, the prospect of delay in opening 
the new institution, and the possibility of losing it altogether 
after so much labor had been expended, stirred up all the 
parties interested and thus the climax which my arrival 
produced proved to be most fortunate. The committees com- 
pleted their work in a short time, and no further delay was 
necessary. 

Thru the courtesy of Dr. A. W. Hawkins, the indefatiga- 
ble financial agent whose faith and enthusiasm along with 
that of his able yoke-fellow, Dr. W. J. Darby, had successfully 
conducted the church campaign for the amount required to 
meet Mr. Millikin's proposition, I found an attractive suite of 
rooms for my family in the spacious and hospitable home of 
Mr. and Mrs. J. N. Baker, where we lived for two years. I 
have always regarded this as another of the many good for- 
tunes blessing our lives. 

The Board of Managers had anticipated my arrival in 
renting and partly furnishing a couple of rooms in the Millikin 
building for its headquarters. The by-laws for its government 
had already been tentatively adopted and the various com- 
mittees appointed. They provided that the presidents of the 
board and of the college should be ex officio members of all com- 
mittees. The Secretary, Mr. S. E. Walker, Asst. Cashier of 
the Millikin Bank, and I were appointed to devise a scheme 
for keeping accounts and making reports which after approval 
by the Treasurer, Mr. O. B. Gorin, was adopted and inaugur- 
ated. 

About August first, I returned to Kansas and brought 
Mrs. Taylor and daughter Kittie, to Decatur and a few weeks 
later we in company with Mr. and Mrs. Millikin, and Mr. 
Peter Loeb, chairman of the building committee, spent some 
days at the Pan-American Exposition at Buffalo. After this 
we gentlemen and Mrs. Millikin went to Ithaca, New York, 
to inspect the buildings of Cornell University with a view of 
formulating plans for the construction of our new buildings. 
Mrs. Millikin then returned to Decatur, and the rest of us 
spent nearly three weeks in visiting the leading institutions 
of the eastern states for the same purpose, Mr. Millikin and 
I spending many odd hours in discussing the scope and char- 
acter of the organization contemplated. While the other two 
saw many things that pleased them, they gathered more light 
from the visit to Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, than from any other 
institution. The material in the construction of the library 
and museum of the University of Pennsylvania greatly in- 

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ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

fluenced our choice of the brick and stone for our buildings, 
which our friends declare grow more beautiful every year. 

In accordance with Mr. Millikin's expressed preference, 
the board selected Messrs. Patton and Miller of Chicago as its 
architects. After much delay, prolonged by an effort to have 
Mr. Millikin express his preference among the sites offered, 
word came indirectly thru Mrs. Millikin that he really pre- 
ferred Oakland Park and it was unanimously chosen. Mr. 
Loeb and I were appointed a committee to notify him, and 
we were convinced of his gratification over it, for tho again 
avowing his wish that the board should make its own choice, 
he immediately began to suggest locations for buildings and 
plans for laying it out. He had benight the park many years 
before and had often said that he hoped to erect a college on 
it some day. The Anna B. Millikin Home for Old Women, 
so named in honor of his wife, was just across Oakland 
avenue from it, so the realization of his college dream and the 
centralization of his benefactions along that avenue very natur- 
ally pleased him. The board had anticipated the decision by 
making conditional contracts for the tracts adjoining on the 
West and North so as to make a total of nearly 35 acres for 
the campus. It being somewhat rolling and largely covered 
with fine forest trees is unusually beautiful and attractive. 

That the architects might work intelligently, it was first 
necessary that the general outline of the college organization 
should be formulated and approved. Having made a careful 
review and study of the demands of our possible clientage and 
the courses offered by our immediate competitors, I was not 
long in deciding upon its main features. They embraced eight 
schools, — liberal arts, commerce and finance, engineering, 
domestic economy, fine and applied arts, pedagogy, library 
science and music in the college and corresponding prepara- 
tory courses in the academy, — all four years in length with 
the standard requirements for admittance to each. I submitted 
the details to Mr. Millikin, and they received his warm ap- 
proval, tho he said he had hoped that a school of agriculture 
might be included. He yielded it readily as I explained that 
our prospective income would be insufficient, tho I had tenta- 
tively risked offering a brief course in horticulture. The out- 
line was promptly approved by the Board and its publication 
in the city papers brought forth many expressions of com- 
mendation from the citizens generally, tho some feared it rather 
pretentious. The truth is that many of them had very limited 
conceptions of the growing demands for a college of the 
modern type and did not hesitate to caution Mr. Millikin about 

[95 1 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

encouraging any visionary plans, both as to the scope of the 
curriculum and the size of the proposed plant. 

I spent much time with the architects in selecting the most 
appropriate style of architecture for the location which we 
had chosen. The Elizabethan offered the best solution of our 
problem, and I recommended it to our patrons and to the board 
who at once expressed their satisfaction and instructed us 
to proceed with details. I worked up the floor plans tenta- 
tively with occasional conferences and amendments, and a 
beautiful water color draft of the first group of three buildings 
was submitted, receiving enthusiastic endorsement from all 
parties. Mrs. Millikin advised the elimination of a few extra 
frills over some of the bay and dormer windows which was 
quickly agreed to. 

Almost equal unanimity was given to the preliminary 
plans for the power house and gymnasium, the architects 
having assured us that our funds would enable us to construct 
the five. They later stated that we insisted upon better 
buildings than they had first thought we wished, and that the 
cost of construction had advanced so rapidly in the interim 
that the gymnasium must be omitted for the time being. 

The bids for the construction of the first four named were 
disappointingly high, but I recommended certain combination 
bids, which the specifications allowed, and thus reduced the 
total many thousand dollars, making their acceptance possible. 
The selection of the brown and red mottled vitrified brick for 
the outside walls, which we secured at a great bargain, em- 
phasized the wisdom of our choice for the buildings to be 
erected in the future. 

To the chairman of the building committee, Mr. Loeb, 
and myself the supervision of the construction of the entire 
plant was entrusted. We were frequently in counsel with the 
other members of the board especially of the building com- 
mittee, and, tho occasionally at variance with our contractors, 
succeeded in securing buildings whose excellency and beauty 
are their own commendation. To include the expressions 
of admiration and appreciation from artists, architects, college 
authorities, and other good judges who have visited them, 
would require several pages. We were greatly gratified to 
have Mr. and Mrs. Millikin say that in all their travels they 
had never seen a group of college buildings whose architec- 
tural design pleased them so much. 

An immense company gathered to witness the laying of 
the corner stone by the Masonic Fraternity, on June 12, 1902, 
the address being delivered by Dr. W. H. Penhallegon. 
Criticisms on the brick chosen by us had been made by some 

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ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

of our friends, but as they saw the walls that day, they joined 
the throng in unstinted praise. Practically all the basement 
walls and buildings in Decatur and vicinity, built of that same 
"University" brick, have been erected since that day. 

The contractor had bound himself to turn over the com- 
pleted buildings by September 1, 1902, but unexpected delays 
in getting material along with Union labor interference pre- 
vented it, thus postponing the opening of the college another 
year. 

In accord with our practice from the beginning, I sub- 
mitted our plans for finishing the corridors and the main lobby 
to Mr. Millikin, who as he saw we were finishing the latter 
very modestly and inexpensively, said that he would advise 
marble instead, "for the first impressions made upon people 
entering the building would always govern those formed of 
the institution as a whole." Of course we quickly acquiesced, 
for he proposed to meet the extra expense himself. 

One day Mr. Millikin called me into his office and asked 
how much money I would need for the equipment of the build- 
ings, adding that he could spare me $35,000 or $40,000. I 
replied that my estimates for first year were within the former 
amount, which pleased him so much that he placed the limit 
at $30,000. That, however, proved less than we finally needed, 
for our large enrollment of students demanded extensive 
duplications which could not be anticipated. His suggestions 
for purchasing it were in accordance with those always given 
by him, — "Buy the best you can afford, but not extravagantly." 
This was supplemented by Mr. Loeb with "You expect your 
students to do good work, — then give them good tools." Tho 
the time limit forced me to select most of the equipment 
myself, I asked the members of the faculty as far as appointed 
to make recommendations for their several departments, de- 
ferring such purchases as seemed advisable until the arrival 
of others or later. 

Before the final decision to postpone the opening of the 
college for reasons heretofore mentioned, I had secured a few 
members of my faculty, all but two of whom could continue 
in their former positions, Doctor Galloway and Mrs. Machan 
being the exceptions. Satisfactory arrangements were made 
with them as to salary, and the latter served as my secretary, 
being invaluable in the advertising and other preliminary 
work. The former came on in the early Spring and relieved 
me greatly in developing the details of the curriculum and the 
general prospectus as well as in many other directions for 
which his experience especially fitted him. With the assist- 
ance of such competent help I was enabled to perfect our 

[97 1 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

plans so that from the opening hour, there was practically no 
confusion or delay in organizing and putting at work one of 
the largest bodies of students ever assembled on the inaugura- 
tion of an educational institution in this country. 

The new buildings were dedicated on June 4, 1903, the 
dedicatory address being given by President Theodore Roose- 
velt in the presence of a vast throng of people that overflowed 
into the streets and avenues adjoining the park. It was a 
great holiday for Decatur and the surrounding country and 
the procession from the business part of the city, headed by 
the Goodman band, the most notable in its history. Prominent 
men from all walks of life, far and near, occupied the platform, 
several of whom took part in the program. The dedicatory 
prayer was made in the assembly room after the general exer- 
cises on the front campus, by the Rev. Dr. B. P. Fullerton 
of St. Louis. 

The unique and comprehensive character of the college 
organization, the attractiveness of its campus and buildings, 
and the thousands of friends interested in its founding thru 
the campaigns for its endowment made its exploitation thru 
its prospectus and otherwise a comparatively easy matter. 
We utilized the public press, the nearly half thousand pastors 
in the three patronizing synods, a still larger number of per- 
sonal friends and former students of mine at Lincoln Univer- 
sity, many of whom had children of their own ready for the 
college, the four hundred traveling salesmen of Decatur as 
well as the citizens generally, in our efforts to reach and 
acquaint prospective students with the unusual facilities for 
securing the liberal education which we were offering. All 
of these were superbly supplemented and stimulated by the 
Decatur Herald and the Review, both of them generously 
throwing open their columns to exploit and promote the various 
features of the College by illustration and story in a most 
lavish way, which they have continued unreservedly thru the 
years. So thoroly had the work been done and the prospective 
students listed, that three weeks before the opening I was able 
to send them post cards stating that from 300 to 350 students' 
would assuredly register the first day, perhaps more. 

The Board of Managers appointed Mrs. Millikin, Mrs. 
Peter Loeb and Mrs. Taylor a committee to select the college 
colors. They recommended those of Commodore Decatur as 
the most appropriate as well as the most beautiful for the 
purpose. They are pure white and a rich navy blue. With 
the co-operation of Mrs. Dad Stearns, who originally sug- 
gested those colors, they presented two handsome duplicates 
of the flag used on the Commodore's flagship to the college, 

[98] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

which decorated the boxes on the opening day and still 
perform a similar service on state occasions. The very fine 
national flag belonging to the college was presented by Mr. 
John Ulrich and a few personal friends. 

Other local friends vied with each other in contributing 
to the assembly room decorations for the inauguration exer- 
cises, which were made additionally attractive by the cordial 
assistance of a score of young women from the city who took 
delight in proffering their services for the occasion. It is 
needless to say that the great room was filled to the farthest 
gallery with students and friends, the platform being occupied 
by members of the various boards, the faculty, and interested 
parties from all directions. Mr. and Mrs. Millikin with inti- 
mate friends occupied their box on the left of the rostrum and 
Mrs. Taylor with guests of honor the President's box on the 
right. 

Brief addresses were made by representatives of various 
educational interests, among them being my fast friend, Presi- 
dent John W. Cook of the Northern State Normal School, and 
my devoted co-laborer, Mr. Isaac R. Mills, President of the 
Board of Managers. My inaugural address was a modest 
affair which received warm responses from the audience and 
from those in authority. In it, I thus set forth our platform: 

"This college stands for higher planes of scholarship, for 
loftier ideals of manhood and womanhood, for the dignity of all 
labor, for the preservation and maintenance of the institutions 
which have been the bulwark of society and the crozvning glory 
of our modern civilization. Its creed will be the common creed 
of the best minds and the best blood of the race ; its mission to 
contribute as may be in its power to the promotion of all that is 
best and truest among men." 

During the exercises, I had been studying the audience, 
particularly the solid rows of young men reaching around the 
gallery, with a view of discovering the approximate number 
of students present. Being satisfied that there were not less 
than four hundred, I ventured to ask them to stand. A spon- 
taneous cheer almost rent the roof as one of the finest group 
of young men and women students I had ever seen faced 
me. Tellers from the platform counted them and while they 
were still standing, I turned to our patrons and said : "Mr. 
Millikin, when I had my closing conference with you previous 
to the acceptance of the presidency of this University, you 
told me that if we had five hundred students in five or six 
years and the college had a high standing among the educa- 
tional institutions of the Mississippi valley, you would be 
satisfied. It gives me very great pleasure to introduce to 

[99] 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

you 562 young people who are here to enroll with us this 
morning." He rose and bowed to them with marked emotion 
and tears that showed his own joy. In passing out, he said 
to a friend: "It is now up to the faculty." That hour was 
the proudest of my life and repaid me many fold for the 
personal sacrifices and arduous labors of the preceding years. 

At least sixty high schools and perhaps two score colleges 
were represented in the enrollment for the year, which totaled 
712. Among the many interesting things developing as we 
organized our work was the fact that transfers from other 
colleges and high schools enabled us to form large classes in 
all the seven years from the first academy thru the junior 
college year, together with a senior class of several members. 
Candidates appeared for entrance to all of the schools in suf- 
ficient numbers to form workable classes and even in all the 
departments in which courses had been offered, except in 
horticulture, for which fortunately no special instructor had 
been employed. So quietly and promptly did all find their 
places that not an hour was lost in putting the machinery of 
instruction in motion. 

Mr. JVIillikin had some friends in the city who supposedly 
had been to college and who were well assured that I was a 
dreamer and who induced him to believe that the buildings 
planned could not be occupied in long years to come, if ever. 
He had some figuring done by somebody and confided his 
growing fears to me, asking if we were not over-reaching 
ourselves. As the stakes were already driven and the excava- 
tions for the three in the main group well under way, I stood 
the next morning at the East end of it over four hundred feet 
away from the other, I confess that I asked myself seriously, 
"Am I a dreamer?" The hesitation was but for a moment 
however, for I had been over the field interested in us too 
often to concede that I was making a mistake. Then I re- 
called the fact that dreamers had made advancing civilization 
possible and tried to impart my confidence to my patron in 
which I at least partially succeeded. 

Perhaps a fortnight before, Mr. Millikin had told Mr. 
Loeb and myself that he thought it would be wise to board 
up the corridors leading to the engineering building for he 
was certain we would not need it for a long time to come, 
but we were now forced to equip two or three times as many 
rooms for several departments as we had thought we might 
need for the first year. Originally the architects had not 
provided for finishing up the rooms in the two end attics, but 
the rapid increase in the attendance eventually forced us to 
finish and equip every available space there including the 

[100] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

fourth tower story above the basement. When the new 
Gymnasium and the Conservatory buildings were erected, the 
expansion of the different departments had become so great, 
that it was not easy to provide for their needs in the parts of 
the buildings thus vacated. Thus were my faith and my 
vision continually finding justification. 

Equally justified was the choice of my faculty for with 
very few exceptions they proved capable, sympathetic col- 
leagues in working out the problems confronting us from time 
to time. Tho they were educated in a score or more different 
institutions and had taught in even a greater number, they 
readily found common ground with me and with each other 
in the constructive work which the unique and advanced char-' 
acter of the new college demanded. Their varied acquaint- 
ance with the conduct of so many colleges of the better sort 
made them invaluable in council and helpful in formulating a 
sane and liberal policy for its management. The successful 
correlation and articulation of the different departments of 
instruction in the several schools in perfecting our curricula 
was no light task and its accomplishment not only a clear 
pedagogical gain, but also a distinct economic advantage, 
enabling us to maintain our comprehensive organization and 
offer a great variety of courses with an income far less than 
would otherwise have been required. 

In the management of the two thousand students of the 
State Normal School of Kansas, I had attained some notoriety 
because with scarcely any rules except those of procedure, 
and reliance upon the good sense and integrity of the student 
body I had found little occasion for discipline. It now came 
to my ears, however, that one of my instructors had said that 
I would find that I could not run a college as I had run a 
normal school. I smiled at the information and stated that 
time would tell. At the first meeting of my committee on 
rules, I was surprised to discover a disposition to formulate 
regulations based upon the hypothesis of mutual antagonism 
between students and faculty. I explained that I would not 
care to run a college on such a theory. After some argument 
my policy was accepted, but with the parting shot from one 
of the committee that "the antagonism would be there just 
the same." 

With such varying ideals and traditions of college life 
among the faculty and students coming to us then there 
was naturally much cause for watchfulness and some for 
discipline during the first year, as we were endeavoring to get 
into harmony with each other, tho the proportion of offenders 
was not large. The second year, the influence of the advanced 

noii 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

college classes, who now appreciated our spirit and policy, 
made for better things generally. The third year conditions 
were almost ideal and the fourth, as our strong senior class 
with three years' acquaintance with us, swung into line, the 
vindication of our method was most gratifying. In all my 
career I seldom appealed to the rules, but rather to the innate 
good sense and the spirit of loyalty to ethical ideals in deal- 
ings with students as a whole or as individuals. 

It is easy enough for anybody to suspend or expel a 
student or disgrace him in some other way, but I have a far 
different conception of my calling and its high privileges 
than to disregard the opportunity which thus comes to me 
for helping an erring youth to recover and make a better 
man out of himself. It is so easy for us to unduly magnify 
and wrongly interpret students' motives in the infractions of 
written or unwritten rules, that in their administration much 
injustice and permanent harm is done to many of them who 
could easily have been reached by a friendly personal word 
and induced to change their whole attitude towards life, — 
which after all is one of the vital objects of education. Seldom 
has a student been called to my office even for ever so serious 
an offense, who did not leave it with a consciousness of the 
fact that I was his friend and had his best interests at heart. 
Warm personal tributes from some of them who underwent 
severe discipline are among the rare heritages of my life, 
and yet they are trifles beside the pleasure given me in seeing 
them respected, useful men and women, leaders in the great 
movements for rightiousness and for better living. It is thus 
that our works do follow us. 

The plan for class adviser introduced by us at the State 
Normal School long before its adoption by the great institu- 
tions in the East was a strong factor also at Decatur in ac- 
complishing the end just mentioned. The close fellowship 
thus brought about between students and faculty insures 
mutual co-operation seldom secured in any other way ; indeed, 
intelligent personal interest in the former by the latter will 
practically eliminate necessity for discipline in higher institu- 
tions of learning generally. 

There were of course many other things necessary to 
perfect the college machinery. Student enterprises, covering 
the intellectual, forensic, athletic, social, religious, and other 
special interests conducing to their general welfare and ad- 
vancement, were established as quickly as seemed advisable 
and placed under sympathetic guidance when desirable. 
Mutual rivalry was encouraged in order to stimulate interest 
among the means used being valuable prizes offered by public 

[102] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

spirited citizens thru my solicitation, and before the close of 
the first year these activities were already playing an important 
part in the life of the college as a whole and strengthening 
the affection of the young men and women for their Alma 
Mater. 

Tho I had not consented for the organization of secret 
societies at Emporia, I had now become convinced of their 
desirability under proper restrictions and their value as a 
contributory factor in a college scheme, and led the way for 
their establishment as petitions for the same were presented. 
The fraternity spirit craves fellowship of some kind among 
all classes of people, and they will have it in one way if not 
in another. Its proper cultivation as an essential part of an 
education and must not be overlooked. College fraternities 
have many problems yet to solve before they can accomplish 
their highest mission, but they are trying them out in so 
serious a manner that they are worthy our consideration and 
co-operation. 

Realizing the necessity of providing funds in some way 
for helping to meet the expenses of promoting the athletic 
actvities of the college and appreciating the value of a book- 
store in the main building for the accommodation of the stu- 
dents, I proposed the establishment of the latter with authority 
on my part to appoint two competent advanced students to 
manage it wholly on their own financial responsibility, — yet 
under supervision to insure low prices and legitimate supplies. 
The board approved, the profits to be divided into three parts, 
the college to receive one for athletic purposes and each stu- 
dent one for his labor. It soon justified itself for, in addition 
to being a great convenience, it had the support of the students 
generally as it aided them materially in meeting athletic ex- 
penses. After it was well established the net profits per year 
for each party ranged from $300 to $400, thus almost meeting 
the necessary personal expenses of the deserving students 
entrusted with its management. 

Profiting by former experience in managing the athletic 
association, I proposed a joint directorate of students and 
faculty, which I served as president for some years. It proved 
happily effective in bringing both into a better understanding 
and a readier co-operation. By dint of continual effort in 
awakening student sentiment we congratulated ourselves not- 
only in maintaining reasonably clean athletics at home but in 
the state association of which Millikin was a member. Such 
a result can only be realized by having a clean director, a 
clean coach, and a clean faculty behind the movement. I men- 
tion these and other things which in the minds of some people 

[1031 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

may seem trivial, but in the management of an institution of 
learning there are few things so trivial that they can be wisely 
overlooked, tho it is possible to magnify some unduly. 

Ignoring a multiplicity of details leading to my resigna- 
tion in December, 1912, I will confine myself to a very brief 
recital of events leading to it. 

Being out of harmony with certain proposed changes in 
the organization and policy for Decatur College as recom- 
mended by the Secretary of the Board of Education of the 
Presbyterian Church in New York, and favored by Dr. Judd, 
a theoretical expert of the department of education in the Uni- 
versity of Chicago and favored in part by some members of 
our Board of Managers, I felt that I could not consistently 
remain and that my resignation was the logical thing. 

Immediately Ave went on our holiday vacation, it being- 
understood that my action would not be announced before my 
return. I was, however met at the five o'clock morning train 
on our arrival home by a representative of the Decatur Herald 
who stated to us that the action was known by many people 
and that much matter was already in type awaiting our arrival 
as the President of our board had suggested that I might have 
a word to say also. 

Under the circumstances I thought best to make a brief 
statement regarding it as expressions of regret were coming 
already from many quarters. Both dailies gave generous 
space and kind words for me and my work ; both editors per- 
sonally reiterating their friendship and offering me space for 
anything I might wish to say. I cared only to express my 
hearty appreciation of the sympathy and generous cooperation 
which had ever been so generously given me by the citizens 
and friends of the college and to ask the same for my suc- 
cessor. 

When I went to my class the next morning, the seniors 
rose and stood in silence, the president stating that it seemed 
the only way they had to express their regret. At chapel, Mr. 
Edgar Smith, as the representative of the students made a 
very gracious speech of the same tenor and all rose and stood 
in silence also ; whereupon Dean Rogers stepped forward as 
a representative from the faculty saying that they too wished 
a word in the tribute which it gave him such pleasure in 
uttering. He spoke of his acquaintance with plants and 
policies of colleges thruout this country and Europe and gave 
Millikin a high rank among them, emphasizing especially the 
architectural achievement in the artistic group of buildings 
which grace our campus. 

Not long afterward on the invitation of our board an 

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ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

interested audience of our best citizens gathered in the De- 
catur Club rooms to hear Dr. Judd elaborate his views on the 
problems involved. Dr. W. H. Penhallegon, president of 
trustees of the University presided, asking a few of those 
present familiar with the original movement to organize the 
college to give their view of its accomplishments and value 
to the community all of whom had generous praise for it. 

In Dr. Judd's address he explained that he was a theo- 
retical investigator and a student of educational problems 
rather than a practical educator. He then very generously 
complimented the organization and accomplishments of the 
managers saying that his inspection of it had convinced him 
that a master mind had been at the helm and that he had 
nothing but the highest praise for it. He then set forth his 
junior college ideas illustrating its advantages in meeting com- 
munity demands and advocated the discontinuance of the 
academy which had been contemplated by us as the proper 
time came. He also outlined a variety of things which he felt 
his ideal college could profitably do for the community, many 
of which we were already doing or had attempted and which 
had been found infeasible or had been planning to do as soon 
as funds were available. 

I was then introduced with such complimentary expres- 
sions that I was moved to blushes. I had not expected to 
speak at all, but thought that the opportunity had now come 
for me to make some things plain to those present. As I went 
forward the entire company rose and stood until I recognized 
them. This graciousness almost unnerved me, but I soon 
recovered with a little pleasantry in response and announced 
my delightful surprise at the numerous bouquets tossed to 
Millikin and to me, when I was prepared for brickbats instead, 
especially from our visitor. I then very courteously took up 
the criticisms and suggestions of the Doctor, giving a brief 
history of the development of the college in accordance with 
the ideals prompting Mr. Millikin in its founding, together 
with the efforts made to meet characteristic local demands by 
offering special courses for them. I explained the surveys 
which had discovered these apparent demands and the provi- 
sions in the way of special equipment and instruction together 
with the methods of publicity used to make the community 
acquainted with them. I further showed that many of the 
demands proved to be temporary and ceased after a year or 
two or even after a semester. Others continued and were at 
that time being met. I emphasized the fact that community 
educational needs varied in different localities and that as the 
number of students from Decatur and Macon county had 

[1051 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

always been very large, it was sufficient evidence that the 
college was wisely adapting itself to them here and at the 
same time commanding a large general patronage from the 
central West. 

I further demonstrated the economy of our administra- 
tion and showed its efficiency thru the close correlation and 
articulation of the various departments and schools of the 
college, thus saving unnecessary duplication of equipment and 
instructors. 

I further justified our organization and position as a 
senior college and explained the legal and moral obstacles in 
the way of reorganizing it as a junior or as a strictly municipal 
college, maintaining that only an institution of its type could 
meet modern educational demands in a large way and com- 
mand the patronage of all classes of people. 

All of this and more would have been given the good 
Doctor, had he originally accepted my ofTer to go into details 
concerning our organization and policy with him. 

When I had finished, the spontaneous applause and hearty 
personal congratulations and felicitations following assured 
me that no very radical changes in the policy of the college 
would be inaugurated. 

As it became necessary for us to issue our annual catalog 
and prospectus, I was instructed to go ahead as usual pre- 
serving the integrity of the organization as tho nothing had 
happened. This result of the discussion and uncertainty en- 
gendered by the action of the Board in December was most 
gratifying tho the public announcement of radical changes in 
prospect had already deterred some prospective students from 
coming to us and induced some of our own to go elsewhere in 
the Autumn. 

In accepting my resignation, the President had kindly 
stated that "we would like to have your assistance in selecting 
a successor." I was finally called in to give my views on the 
three most likely candidates whom the committee had rounded 
up and after carefully inspecting their records and recommen- 
dations agreed with him that on their face that no one seemed 
more desirable than Dr. George E. Fellows, whom I had 
known personally for many years. 

I had been asked whether I would consent to retain 
my chair of philosophy and pedagogy and continue with the 
institution for a few years longer. The papers had early an- 
nounced that the board was seeking a man of liberal scholar- 
ship and great breadth, a man of national reputation for the 
position and, hoping that such an executive would be found 
and an attractive salary offered him, I had been giving the 

[106] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

matter rather serious consideration. Such a chair free from 
administrative responsibilities under a man of large and pro- 
gressive ideals, in which I would have time to bring up some 
belated literary work and devote myself to long neglected 
study and research, had been a cherished dream for some time. 
Previous to his formal appointment, Dr. Fellows approached 
me on the subject, asking whether the position would be 
agreeable to me in case he should accept the presidency. 

On the inside, our college work increased in interest, the 
whole year being a gratifying climax to the forty-one it com- 
pleted in my pedagogical career. Students and student organi- 
zations seemed to vie with each other in contributing to its 
success and in showing us their affection and good will on 
every possible occasion. Numerous social affairs in our honor 
were given during the Spring by them and by the faculty. In 
recognition of my courtesies to it, the French club presented 
me with a small medal sent thru it by the French Govern- 
ment. At the May-Pole exercises the young women presented 
Mrs. Taylor with a massive floral cornucopia inside of which 
she found a dainty box enclosing a most exquisite gold brooch 
in token of their appreciation of her devotion to their interests. 
On the morning of the last general chapel exercises, which 
were conducted by the graduating class assembled on the plat- 
form, a representative of the student body presented me with 
a handsome solid silver paper weight artistically engraved 
and decorated with the Taylor coat of arms. On the sides is* 
the following legend : "Pignus Amoris Praesidi Alberto R. Tay- 
lor, Abcunt Magistratu A Discipulis." 

At a dinner by the faculty, a beautiful personally signed 
Memory Book was given us and we were invited to the campus 
for a complimentary concert by the Girls' Glee Club which was 
most enjoyable. At the Alumni banquet on Commencement 
day, the Alumni presented me with a rare silver loving cup, 
and thruout the closing week no opportunity seemed lost for 
a speaker to turn a kindly word to me and mine. 

Governor Hadley of Missouri had been engaged for the 
commencement address, but the day before wired me that 
illness prevented his coming. No substitute could be 
found, so I delivered it and the Board President and Secretary 
were so pleased with the message that they forced upon me 
the liberal honorarium which had been promised the distin- 
guished Governor for his services. 

In this connection I may be permitted to say that the 
Second Presbyterian Church of which we were members, gave 
us a reception just before we left Decatur at which a specially 
prepared Memory Book made up of personal and group photo- 

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AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

graphs, friendly limericks, etc., and handsomely ornamented 
and bound in leather, was presented to us, which is not only 
a very beautiful and unique token, but which will be a source 
of perennial enjoyment to us. On the evening before we had 
planned to leave the city, a dinner was tendered me by leading 
citizens in the Decatur Club rooms at which many kind things 
were spoken that showed how fully our constituents appre- 
ciated the influence of the University for better things on the 
multiple phases of Decatur's life. My successor, Dr. Fellows, 
and the new Superintendent of the city schools, Mr. Engle- 
man, vied with the others in the cordiality of their post- 
prandials, the former recalling his visit of inspection to the 
Kansas State Normal School where he was so much impressed 
with its unexcelled spirit and standards that he had reported 
it to the University of Chicago as second to none in this 
country and that he considered it an honor to be called as 
my successor. Mr. Robert I. Hunt said that "in speaking of 
the success of the University, it is well to remember that one 
man made it possible by his money but that another had built 
it by his brains." 

I now return to pick up a few things filling out other 
phases of my life inside and outside university circles, re- 
gretting always the necessity of treating them in a brief way 
and of ignoring much that I would like to mention. 

It had been my ambition to put at least seven buildings 
on the campus before laying down my office, one of which 
should be a well equipped gymnasium. When Mr. and Mrs. 
Millikin expressed a desire to erect a Hall for Women instead, 
I reluctantly acquiesced and helped to make it as attractive 
and home-like as possible both externally and internally. Our 
patrons took deep interest in every little detail, and we were 
quite solicitious that its management should give them increas- 
ing pleasure in the few years remaining to them. They were 
however, so predisposed toward a few long discarded regula- 
tions that we had to find some middle ground on them which 
perhaps was better for the girls. I suggested the name Aston 
Hall for it in recognition of Mrs. Millikiirs family name, her 
father having been a minister in the Cumberland Presbyterian 
Church, but Mr. Millikin demurred saying however, that after 
his demise we might do as we pleased about it. Not long 
after it occurred, we so designated it, Mrs. Millikin seeming 
much pleased. 

After its completion, it was the general understanding that 
the gymnasium should come next. The School of Music, grew 
so phenomenally, however, that before Mr. Millikin's death, 
he was becoming interested in a building for it, encouraged 

[108] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

to do so by Director Kaeuper's rare genius for castle build- 
ing. Afterwards Doctor McClelland thought it more urgent 
than a gymnasium and took me over the campus to get my 
views on a location for it. I put in a strong plea for the 
other building in preference but finally succeeded in getting 
a promise for both, which so tremendously aroused the stu- 
dents that on its announcement in chapel, they pressed into 
service all sorts of conveyances and with trumpet and drum 
paraded the town and serenaded the trustees of the Millikin 
estate at the bank with a gusto that voiced their joy in no 
uncertain way. 

Those two buildings, thoroly up-to-date in their construc- 
tion and appointments, completed the handsomest group of 
college buildings outside the big universities in the entire 
West. Altogether they cost, including their equipment about 
$450,000. 

In getting acquainted with the non-state colleges in Illi- 
nois, I found much chaos in courses and standards, hence I 
was glad to respond to a call for a conference at Bloomington 
to organize for mutual advantage, giving the keynote address 
on "The Function of the Christian College." Two or three 
college presidents introduced the matter, but showed so much 
antagonism towards the public schools and the higher State 
institutions that a few of us declined to proceed on such a 
basis and no action was taken. About a year after of my 
own initiative, I called a conference at Millikin for the same 
purpose inviting the higher Catholic colleges to meet with us 
also. Some fourteen were represented and with the aid of 
President Hieronymous of Eureka we declared ourselves an 
integral part of the great educational system of our country 
and proceeded to organize on that basis. We at once ap- 
pointed committees to devise closer and more sympathetic ar- 
ticulation with the State school system and to formulate 
common standards for the non-state colleges. I was elected 
President, serving two years, and we soon enrolled some two 
dozen of the best institutions of learning in the State. In 
addition we came into friendly affiliation with the State Nor- 
mal Schools and the State University and all worked together 
in efforts to standardize our colleges and secure progressive 
educational legislation thru which much advantage accrued 
to us all. Our annual meetings at the different colleges and 
semi-annual business conferences at the State Capital were 
most enjoyable and profitable in every way. 

Along somewhat in the same line was the founding of 
the University Club at Decatur which was instituted by me 
with the co-operation of Dr. Horace Strain, pastor of the First 

[109] 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

Congregational church, and other good men of the city, and 
I served as its President for some years. Its active member- 
ship was limited to college graduates and its associate to a few 
undergraduates whose affiliation was thought desirable by 
their success in business or professional lines and their interest 
in problems common with our own. Its membership has al- 
ways included a good proportion of the larger and more 
companionable spirits among the classes named, and its 
deliberations and discussions have contributed materially to 
good fellowship and industrial and civic progress in Decatur. 
Many movements for its betterment have had their origin 
in its councils and its members have ever been among the 
leaders in promoting and supporting wholesome attempts for 
making Decatur more livable and lovable. 

The change to Decatur naturally brought me into closer 
personal relationship with the religious activities of our own 
and other churches in which I found much pleasure and profit. 
In transferring my membership to the local communion, I 
found myself also a member of its session with progressive 
policies under consideration calling forth much thought and 
labor. Declining any suggestion of the superintendency of 
the Sunday School, I organized a teachers' training class in it 
which accomplished some excellent things and for some years 
furnished the school with successful teachers. With the open- 
ing of the University, I assumed the general direction of the 
Bible Study Classes organized for the students in the different 
churches under the tutelage of faculty members and others, 
giving many hours each week to the preparation of the lesson 
outlines used and taught my own class also. The Decatur 
Review kindly published these outlines each week for a long 
time. The examinations given those completing the courses 
brought some rather remarkable papers, which were readily 
credited on the course required for graduation in the college. 

I was highly honored in being elected president of the 
State Sunday School Association for its Mattoon meeting; in 
being given a place on the program of the International Asso- 
ciation at its Toronto meeting; in being sent several times 
as a delegate to the Illinois Synod and a commissioner to the 
General Assembly of the Cumberland Presbyterian and of the 
United and Reunited Church ; in being appointed by the latter 
as a member of the Religious Educational Committee which 
served for some years devising a more comprehensive and ef- 
ficient system of religious culture in the home and the church ; 
in being made one of the twenty-one members of the National 
Council of the Presbyterian Brotherhood ; in the appointment 
to the Board of Directors of McCormick Theological Seminary 

[110] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

at Chicago, of which I was president for a year — and in 
numerous other ways far beyond my deserts. I have often 
regretted my inability to accept for various reasons several 
desirable and responsible appointments to national and inter- 
national conferences, offered me by those high in authority. 

Tho demands upon me at first for educational addresses 
in Illinois were not so great as in Kansas, the talks at religious 
conventions and in churches took me away from home fully 
as much. As the Brotherhood movement was inaugurated, 
I accepted the presidency of the state organization continuing 
there and in its Council until 1913. At one time I was also 
president of our local brotherhod and chairman of the presby- 
terial and synodical committees, all of which taxed my time 
and strength tho it gave me joy to serve my brethren. 

My early experience in keeping books at the general store 
and in my father's office at the factory in Wenona, together 
with that of teaching the subject to private classes in Lincoln 
University had fitted me well for the inauguration and man- 
agement of our financial system at the State Normal School 
which qualified me still further for the similar responsibility 
at Millikin. As there never had been a material deficit in 
the former, I followed my own inclinations and Mr. Millikin's 
injunction to avoid it in the latter, carefully preparing my 
budgets in both cases with a good margin for safety. 

Twice in making up my estimates, I found it necessary 
to ask Mr. Millikin for an additional five thousand dollars 
for the ensuing year in order to increase the facilities for 
properly caring for the rapidly growing attendance, which 
amounts however, did not go beyond the total promised for 
the first five years. He promptly granted it in each case, 
simply saying: "Be sure to keep within your means." 

It must not be supposed however, that I was not doing 
anything to increase our endowments. I was quietly culti- 
vating friendly relations with certain people of means and 
from time to time sent out special information to them con- 
cerning our needs and their opportunities. I also sympathe- 
tically co-operated with our financial agents in various ways 
and had the satisfaction of knowing that I was directly instru- 
mental in securing several bequests, and indirectly in other 
cases, several of which have been realized. 

I have elsewhere incidentally spoken of my several fruit- 
less visits with Dr. Buttrick of the General Education Board 
in the interest of an increased endowment. In addition, sev- 
eral letters passed between us. Repeated efforts to get assist- 
ance from Mr. Carnegie thru Dr. Bertram and to have Mlilikin 

[111] 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

placed on their pension list were also unsuccessful on account 
of our organic relationship to the church. 

No deans of our Schools were appointed at first as I did 
not wish to put on "too many airs" in starting, with additional 
cost in the way of higher salaries ; indeed, I studied economy 
everywhere and was often complimented by schoolmen and 
others on our success in constructing such buildings so eco- 
nomically and in running such a comprehensive and efficient 
organization on so small an income. In lieu of formal deans, 
we recognized senior professors in each School when advisa- 
ble as informal chairmen of their faculties and thus were 
paving the way for more intelligent and definite organization 
later. 

Occasionally I mentioned the matter to my board but it 
counselled postponement until an episode occurred which 
precipitated action resulting in the appointment of Dr. J. D. 
Rogers of the department of Ancient Languages as Dean of 
the College and of the School of Liberal Arts. 

He was not long in making himself exceedingly useful to 
all of us and relieved me of a vast amount of detail work in 
which he showed unusual aptitude. I regretted very much 
his loss to the College just as my successor entered upon his 
duties for he would have been invaluable to him in the ad- 
ministration of its affairs. His rare scholarship and fidelity 
to his ideals helped much to gain for Millikin a high place 
among the Western colleges. 

As President of The James Millikin University, I was 
also President of its constituent colleges, Lincoln and Deca- 
tur, for each of which the charter provided I should supervise 
in conjunction with its local board of managers, both to pay 
my salary in proportion to their productive endowment funds. 
It was agreed that I should reside at Decatur and, as the col- 
lege here had a larger foundation, give it a proportionately 
larger part of my time. To be specific, two days in each 
alternate week w r ere to be devoted to Lincoln. Its managers 
elected a Dean of the College in the person of Dr. J. L. Good- 
night, its then efficient executive head. Our relations were 
extremely cordial, and we worked together enthusiastically in 
planning and constructing the new administrative building 
with funds subscribed by the citizens of Logan County in 
response to a gift of fifty thousand dollars to its endowment 
by Mr. Millikin ; in revising the courses of study and advanc- 
ing the standards for admission and graduation, thus co- 
ordinating the work of the two colleges in common subjects 
so that each could readily accept transfers from the other. 
The time of my visits for the first two years was generally 

[112] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

occupied in this way and in brief addresses and personal 
conferences pertaining to college interests. 

Not long after the arrival of my family in Decatur, Dr. 
and Mrs. Goodnight on behalf of our Lincoln friends invited 
us to a reception over there making elaborate preparations for 
the event. They gave us a royal entertainment and vied with 
each other in their efforts to welcome us back to Illinois and 
to show their determination to do their part in building up 
the University and the College, in which the managers and 
faculty members were heartily seconded by the citizens gen- 
erally. Other functions and private social affairs from time 
to time were of like tenor, all of which made us feel very 
much at home again and, combined with our exceedingly 
harmonious and pleasant official relations, augured well for 
the future. 

From the beginning Mr. Millikin had been somewhat 
skeptical of the feasibility of the dual organization of the 
University and urged that its president should occupy a merely 
nominal relationship to Lincoln College in order that all of 
my time could be given to Decatur. 

A committee from the Board of Trustees was appointed 
to adjust details including salary, methods of advertising, etc. 
In assisting in working out these and many other problems I 
was aided by my devoted friend, J. T. Foster, President of Lin- 
coln College Board, in whose untimely death we were sorely 
bereft as well as in that of my equally wise adviser and friend 
Isaac R. Mills, president of the Decatur College Board tho 
their successors were very sympathetic and helpful. 

The two changes following in the deanship at Lincoln 
brought into its faculty a very capable and delightful man in 
the person of Dr. J. W. McMurray who for several years made 
our problems easier of solution, tho adjustments of the 
Hobart Williams fund could not be made as desired because 
our donor did not favor it as he expressed to me personally 
when I submitted the matter to him, stating that the indus- 
trial feature had prompted his choice of Decatur among the 
five named by him. 

I spent the rest of the month of June in pushing the can- 
vass for students as usual, in closing up office correspondence, 
and in preparing my annual report to the Board of Managers. 
I was extremely gratified by reading the statement in a city 
paper later from Dr. Fellows to the effect that "no man could 
have left the office affairs in better condition than I had done ; 
that there was nothing to do but to take up the day's routine 
as tho no break had occurred." 

One attractive feature drawing us to Millikin was the 

[113] 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

prospect of intimate association with several life-long friends 
in working out its problems, three of them occupying as they 
did the presidencies of the respective boards of trustees and 
managers, — Dr. W. J. Darby, J. T. Foster and I. R. Mills. 
Men better fitted by their personality, education and experience 
for such collaboration could hardly be found anywhere. They 
made a fine team and were loyally supported by wise counsel- 
lors and faithful workers. With their aid many delicate prob- 
lems arising in the beginning were solved and harmonious 
relations established. They were absolutely unselfish and 
were moved in all their actions by one common desire, the 
building up of a great institution of learning at Lincoln and 
Decatur. 

It was a grievous calamity that took the last two named 
away from us at the very time when some important readjust- 
ments arising out of our first few years' experience became 
advisable, leaving their solution to men who though equally 
zealous, were less familiar with the clientage of both boards, 
with the genius and aims of the University organization and 
the methods successfully pursued in working out the problems 
heretofore confronting us. 

The two new friends on the Decatur board with whom 
I was more quickly and more intimately associated in con- 
structing and equipping the buildings, and who also had Mr. 
Millikin's entire confidence, were Mr. Peter Loeb and Mr. A. 
R. Montgomery. Both had large experience, the former par- 
ticularly had traveled much, and they were remarkably wise 
in reaching conclusions and in giving advice about a multiplic- 
ity of things that devolved upon me. 

The vacancy among the managers due to the death of 
President I. R. Mills, was filled by the appointment of Super- 
intendent E. A. Gastman, forty years in the Decatur city 
schools, who was also at once elected president of the board, 
lie had served some twenty years on the State Board of Edu- 
cation controlling the State Normal University, and was a 
man of wide information and unimpeachable character. His 
selection was favored by Mr. Millikin for he felt that a man 
of his reputation and experience would be better able to judge 
of the wisdom of our policy and the efficiency of our manage- 
ment than the business men on the board. He was no less 
acceptable to me for the same reason. I had always courted 
the fullest inspection of our affairs by competent men that we 
might learn our defects and mistakes and be confirmed in our 
excellencies Mr. Gastman entered upon his duties enthu- 
siastically and was pleased to report to our patron that he 
found nothing to condemn but much to approve and praise ; 

[114] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

that he was greatly surprised to find the institution so eco- 
nomically administered and possessed of so excellent a faculty. 
But at a time when he too could have been most useful to us 
the Reaper gathered him to his fathers and I was more bereft 
than ever. 

Of course we could not overlook our dual obligations 
to the local constituency and to the church which had also 
contributed so generously to its founding on conditions that 
could not be ignored, and who by their unwavering support 
and patronage were contributing the life and blood essential 
to its notable development. 

My associations with Mr. Millikin as a whole were ex- 
tremely cordial and the long and many hours together in 
friendly conversation and interested planning, in much of 
which he was very confidential, will ever be remembered as 
among the most enjoyable of my life. He had travelled much, 
was well versed on many themes, had thought deeply, and 
was a most entertaining companion. 

The gift of his large estate to philanthropic enterprises 
shows how loyal he was to the vows of his youth. As he 
was walking up the campus on dedication day with President 
Roosevelt and myself he said : "This is the realization of a 
dream of mine when a student in JerTerson College, Pennsyl- 
vania, where I saw so many young people struggling for an 
education in that little school with very limited facilities, for 
I there said that if ever fortune favored me with wealth, I 
would use it in establishing an institution of learning where 
young men and women of all classes and conditions could 
secure a liberal education and one that should fit them well 
for life's responsibilities." He was always deeply touched 
when he found any one showing appreciation of his services 
to his fellow-men. One day one of our students dropped into 
his office and thanked him for founding the University in De- 
catur, his home, for otherwise he could never have secured 
a collegiate education. Tears rolled down Mr. Millikin's 
cheeks as he softly assured the young man of the pleasure 
his words gave him. He was especially solicitous that the 
spiritual life should dominate all the activities of the institu- 
tion, asking me often whether the members of the faculty 
were active in their several churches and in looking after the 
moral and religious needs of the students. In stipulating that 
the internal management should be non-sectarian, he assured 
me that he had not intended that it should be one whit less 
Christian on that account ; if it was, his object in founding it 
had miscarried. 

Mrs. Millikin was early appointed a member of the com- 

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AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

mittee on buildings and grounds and was pleased to give her 
time and counsel in their construction and equipment, her 
particular interest centering in beautifying the campus and 
in the management of Aston Hall. Her intimate friends tell 
of the recurring satisfaction which she and Mr. Millikin found 
in dreaming and working out their plans for their educational 
and charitable enterprises, and no sight was more attractive 
to us than to see them driving or strolling over the college 
grounds admiring and enjoying the transformation their hands 
and hearts had made possible. 

I had much occasion to become well acquainted with her 
and in spite of some peculiarities, many of which were inci- 
dent to old age and a long life in the management of her 
personal affairs and philanthropic enterprises, learned to ap- 
preciate her great worth and the spirit prompting her many 
benefactions, which were more numerous and far-reaching 
than most people surmised. 

They were usually quite punctilious in attending the semi- 
official social functions at our home, seemingly enjoying them 
as much as anybody, and were generally present at the more 
important college affairs of all kinds, where we strove to 
make them most welcome. The high character of the plat- 
form exercises, musical, dramatic and forensic, was a perennial 
surprise to them, and they were seldom in their box without 
being accompanied by some personal friends and, when not 
able to be present themselves often sent invitations to others 
to fill them. It pleased us greatly that on occasions when 
many rooms or all the buildings were thrown open for social 
or exposition purposes that they were frequently most em- 
phatic in the expression of their appreciation and gratification 
at what they saw and heard. At one of the great annual 
commencement exhibits of the technical and scientific depart- 
ments which were happily supplemented by almost every other 
feature of the college, as we were finishing an evening of tour- 
ing, Mr. Millikin said : "Why, this is almost like the World's 
Fair." 

Late in June 1913, as we were inspecting Aston Hall with 
a view to some repairs, Mrs. Millikin said: "We shall miss 
you and Mrs. Taylor when you are gone." She was very 
weak then and it was her last visit to the campus, for in a few 
davs her weary, lonely heart was at rest. She died July 29, 
1913. 

Thus they two had gone, and as we gathered in affection- 
ate ministry at the old home for the last time, the strangely 
commingled events of the dozen years in which our lives had 
been so intimately interwoven and built into that great insti- 

[116] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

tution among the old trees in Oakland Park almost over- 
whelmed me and I wondered whether its mission were not 
more sure because of the self-denials and sacrifices some of 
us had made in its behalf. Trusting that was true, it was easy 
to forget the things which caused them and do heart and 
word homage to the memory of its great-hearted founders and 
patrons. I had surrendered the commission which they had 
given me, and my heart grew mellow in the consciousness that 
it had been executed so faithfully and loyally and with such 
a gratifying measure of success. It was no small privilege to 
be permitted to join with them in giving form and content and 
life to the visions and dreams which had led them through 
half a century of self-denial and struggle. 

In 1885 we purchased the Loomis cottage, Congress and 
Twelfth, in Emporia. It soon became a center of many social 
and educational interests that taxed its quarters to the utmost. 
While at each place we have set up the family altar and our 
life has been greatly blest, our hearts instinctively turn to 
that modest little home in which our children grew into their 
teens and into womanhood, as the place where the felicities 
of our charmed circle reached their climax. In saying this, 
I am not thinking of minimizing the happiness of the days at 
Lincoln in which our babes were weaving themselves into our 
hearts and our lives by the innocent arts that sprang up with 
their unfolding vision and captivated us at every step. It 
would take a volume to write that story and to tell how those 
dear sprites transformed our lives in their own awakening. 

We had always admired the elegant and commodious 
Cross home, at Emporia, northeast corner of Union and Tenth, 
with half a block of green lawn surrounded by superb elms of 
a quarter century's growth, but never had thought it possible 
for us to own it. One day in the summer of 1897, I was offered 
it at less than half its cost and we were soon in it greatly 
enjoying its spacious rooms and its more numerous and well- 
designed conveniences. 

That home enabled us to care for the larger social func- 
tions, which the rapidly growing school demanded, in a much 
more acceptable way and relieved the family from the conges- 
tion incident to our larger personal affiliations and increasing 
individual requirements. As was often said by our friends, — 
"It seemed built for a president's home," in which remark, we 
heartily concurred. Our daughter Jessie Minerva's marriage 
to Mr. Allen Sheldon Newman occurred there, and it certainly 
decorated most beautifully and appropriately for the goodly 
company of friends who graced the occasion. A typical light 
December snow was falling as the guests gathered, and the 

[117] 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

warm glow from the several fire places heightened the wel- 
come of the brilliantly lighted rooms, where our family seemed 
to have quickly multiplied two or three score times. Among 
them were many dear friends from far away whose presence 
added vastly to our enjoyment. 

After two years in the Baker home at Decatur, hereto- 
fore mentioned, and two short changes elsewhere, we moved 
into the Johnson house, 731 West Prairie, which was particu- 
larly attractive and livable, tho soon too small for the neces- 
sary institutional functions arising. 

Daughter Kittie Mary's marriage to Mr. John Thomas 
Cronkhite was solemnized in its pretty parlors on March 30, 
1907. In deference to their wishes, invitations were extended 
only to a choice circle of personal friends tho they filled all 
available space almost shutting from view the chaste floral 
decorations that deft hands had wrought so becomingly. She 
had been awakened by the Girls' Glee Club of the University 
with their beautiful serenade, " 'Tis Thy Wedding Morning," 
and the love tokens from her sorority sisters and others coming 
in all day made her heart and ours doubly glad. As their 
friends followed them with a generous shower of rice and a 
more generous bon voyage, we suddenly realized that tho the 
coming of two young men of fine spirit and irreproachable 
character into our life and home had greatly enriched us that 
the larger interests and affections of our daughters were now 
naturally centering around their own new hearthstones and 
that we were again to take up our journey alone. 

Nature has a kind way of relieving bereaved hearts by 
interesting them in new problems and new enterprises in 
which new affections are focused and new joys are found. 
So we were not long in losing ourselves in working out the 
plans for the new home we had decided to build on the corner 
of West Wood and South Fairview, for which we had pur- 
chased a couple of years before. It was much more preten- 
tious than we required for our personal use, but no larger than 
we needed for our official station. A home that is not shared 
is a dreary sort of a box after all, and this one gradually came 
to mean more and more to us with the influx of friends from 
far and near who frequently graced and blest it with good 
cheer and heartening fellowship. 

Mrs. Taylor's interest in missions early became a passion 
with her and many a discouraged band took on new life under 
the spell of her stimulating talks and infectious zeal. As 
chairman of local auxiliaries, presbyterial and synodical or- 
ganizations and often as a delegate to national councils she 
was able to contribute much to the growth and progress of 

[118] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

the Woman's Board of the former Cumberland Presbyterian 
Church and later to the State work of the Presbyterian 
Church. 

As early as 1876, I became much interested in the proposed 
union of the Cumberland Presbyterian and Presbyterian 
Church U. S. A. and was disappointed greatly when our 
General Assembly refused to continue its committee on the 
subject. My interest was naturally again awakened with the 
agitation in the mother church for the revision of its creed 
which would harmonize it so fully with ours that the re- 
union appeared feasible. When that was accomplished, both 
churches seemed ready to re-open negotiations. In a confer- 
ence in my office at Decatur in August, 1903, with Dr. W. 
J. Darby and Dr. A. W. Hawkins, I proposed that we take 
the initiative, and it was agreed that the first named should 
formulate the proper resolution to be adopted as an overture 
to the General Assembly in the early meetings of Lincoln and 
Decatur Presbyteries. Dean Goodnight of Lincoln College 
secured its adoption without modification in the former, and 
at the same time Dr. Hawkins submitted it to the latter in 
informal session for an exchange of views. Some of the dele- 
gates were not quite ready to go so far as to adopt it as an 
overture, but were willing to vote for it merely as a declara- 
tion that the opportune time had arrived for a resumption of 
friendly conferences on the subject. Rev. A. G. Bergen and 
I were asked to revise it and it was adopted in the afternoon 
by a practically unanimous vote. 

At the suggestion of Dr. Darby, the local and Associated 
Press exploited the action and he mailed copies of the Herald 
and Review to hundreds of leading churchmen supplementing 
them with personal appeals for similar action in all the judi- 
catures. I seconded his efforts in a personal way as seemed 
advisable and the response was spontaneous. To our surprise, 
however, a serious antagonism to the movement developed 
in certain quarters even in the Presbyterian church, which 
later began to organize to defeat the movement. The Gen- 
eral Assemblies promptly appointed preliminary committees 
thru which a joint commission was raised to propose a plan 
for a union and reunion. The opposition in our church, now 
thoroly aroused, began the publication of two weekly papers 
devoted to a feverish campaign "of enlightenment and organ- 
ization," revealing a venom and a spirit that reminded us of 
the days of the Reformation. Our denominational organ 
which at first deplored the agitation as premature now 
earnestly advised the union and yet the complexion of the 
General Assembly to meet at Fresno, California, in May, 1905, 

' [H91 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

was an uncertain quantity on the very eve of its organization 
on account of reputed irregularities in the election of certain 
commissioners and the unknown views of a few others. 

I was a delegate from our presbytery but had not come 
on in any one of the special anti- or pro-union excursion trains 
where all sorts of combinations in favor of candidates 
for moderator and of compromise and counter movements 
were vigorously proposed and discussed. Both factions held 
caucuses in the evening, the antis excluding all but their sym- 
pathizers and strictly guarding their secrets. We held an 
open conference, resulting in the morning in the withdrawal 
of all candidates except Dr. J. B. Hail, a beloved Missionary 
to Japan who came as a commissioner from its people. After 
exhausting every resource to gain advantage, the antis found 
their candidate 37 votes short of election to the moderatorship 
and did not have the grace to make Dr. Hail's election unani- 
mous as is the custom even in political assemblies. The lines 
were well drawn and every session made them more tense, tho 
a score or more of the opposition showed a disposition to yield 
to the decision of the Assembly when it should finally be 
made. I was asked to speak in favor of the Commission's 
report, and I seemed to have unusual liberty of tongue while 
doing so, for an intimate friend told me that he had never 
heard me talk so effectively. We did not seem to have 
changed a single vote, tho we may have confirmed some and 
possibly had some influence with a goodly number who went 
home and pursued a more conservative attitude afterward. 

The report of the Commission was adopted and sent down 
to the presbyteries for their approval. It is customary in 
such an important matter to accompany the overture with a 
pastoral letter to be read to the churches, explaining the nature 
of the proposed change in the organic law and setting forth 
its desirability. I prepared such a letter setting forth in a 
very brief way the reasons for the merger and the happy 
effect it would have upon the evangelical work of the church 
and made an earnest, conciliatory appeal for its adoption. Dr. 
W. H. Black as chairman of the steering committee read it 
and moved its adoption. To our surprise it aroused the most 
bitter and vehement attacks from the fire-eaters in the opposi- 
tion. In spite of the fact that I had put into it all the accumu- 
lated conciliatory spirit and brotherly disposition which I had 
inherited from my Quaker ancestors and cultivated assiduously 
for a third of a century, they seemed that much more vicious 
and threatening on account of it. 

At the next meeting of the Assembly, at Decatur, the 
union having been approved by a majority of the presbyteries, 

[120] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

they came ostensibly to disrupt the church if they could not 
frighten the delegates against a vote of confirmation and final 
action for completing the union. Defeat in this being evident, 
they appealed to the Civil Court to interfere, but it dismissed 
the case, and they at the close gathered in a city hall and 
organized a rump assembly issuing a statement claiming 
themselves to be the true and only Cumberland Presbyterian 
church. While all of us deplored the unfortunate friction thus 
arising, we could not conscientiously retrace our steps and so 
contented ourselves with issuing a more elaborate pastoral 
letter, tho none the less fraternal and conciliatory, nor less 
fervent in its appeals for dispassionate judgment and har- 
monious action by all the churches. I had the privilege of 
formulating that message also, into which was incorporated 
Judge Gaut's forceful summary of the legality of the various 
steps taken by the presbyteries and General Assemblies, and 
was highly honored by one of the old prophets in Israel in 
the statement that it was the best pastoral letter he had ever 
read. 

I was chairman of the Illinois Synod's Committee on liti- 
gation which financed and supervised a successful defense in 
the suits brought against us there, and we won friends every- 
where by our dignified attitude and manifest fairness. 

The wisdom of the Union is certainly shown in almost 
every phase of the activities of the united church and especial- 
ly in the vigorous extension of its evangelical enterprises. 
Its heartening effects upon the ministry of both former 
churches as well as upon the laity in general has been most 
marked. 

In the selection of my teachers at Emporia and Decatur, 
it was impossible for me to divest myself of the keen sense 
of personal responsibility to our patrons for securing men 
and women of the highest scholarship and professional skill 
available as well as of unquestioned probity and moral and 
religious character. As in each case, I was building up an 
institution of learning, it was also important that they be 
possessed of much grace of manner and personal magnetism 
in order to attract and make loyal friends of all classes of 
students. It was not possible to avoid mistakes occasionally, 
but as stated before, I seldom erred much in my estimate of 
candidates and tho I did sometimes discard deserving people, 
I had the satisfaction of knowing that my policy was the only 
wise one to follow. • In every case possible I sought the advice 
of the dean, the head of the department interested, or other 
members of the faculty whose judgment might be of value 
to me.j Tho I was glad to have the assistance of other people 

[121] 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

and of the board whose duty it was to confirm my nomina- 
tions, I do not now recall that in all my executive career, more 
than half a dozen candidates were ever unduly urged upon 
me for appointment and these were equally distributed be- 
tween Kansas and Illinois. A friend of mine, a leading politic- 
ian in Emporia, early came to me and strongly presented the 
claims of a certain lady emphasizing her personal character 
particularly. In leaving, he said smiling: "Now I have done 
my part ; it is for you to determine whether she is capable." 
I thanked him cordially and genuinely regretted that I could 
not find her scholastically qualified for the position. 

It is a little difficult for some people, even in influential 
positions, to recognize the vast difference in the qualifications 
of candidates, especially when their protege may be a college 
or a professional graduate. It is also difficult for them to 
realize the fact that the nominating power is in the hands of 
an expert and that hesitation on his part is usually sufficient 
evidence that his judgment is against the candidate tho other- 
wise he would be pleased to favor him. I think I never ap- 
pointed a subordinate instructor in any department against 
the judgment or wishes of his superior, thus striving for con- 
sistency and harmony in our force. The highest efficiency of 
any faculty is never attained where there is a lack of sympa- 
thetic co-operation with each other and with their chief. 

I have fully set forth the relationship and spirit which 
should obtain in an ideal faculty in my little book, "Among 
Ourselves," in the paragraphs on "Father Superior, Mother 
Inferior, and Brothers and Sisters all." Mutual respect, un- 
restrained freedom in the discussion of our problems and unity 
of purpose and action in working them out will always result 
in healthy, wholesome growth. The principal difficulty in 
the management of an institution of learning is the disposition 
of some of the members of the faculty to take upon themselves 
responsibilities which really rest upon the executive officer and 
thus arouse more or less restlessness and dissatisfaction among 
their associates. That kind of leaven easily leavens the whole 
lump. I once had such a man with me and whenever friction 
arose in my dealings with any of them, they usually very 
promptly made visits to his home for comfort. Had he been 
filled with the right spirit, he might have been a great power 
for good, but ambition buzzed about his ears and he lost his 
opportunity. 

Changes in a faculty ought never to be made except for 
good reasons. From the beginning of my executive career, 
I made it a point to be very frank with my teachers and to 
give them every opportunity to improve their work and regain 

[122] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

lost standing. It was only when they failed or were indis- 
posed to make the attempt that I suggested resignation, — 
and then it was always with much regret. Of course such 
matters cannot be published from the housetops, and I have 
often undergone severe criticism, suffering calumny privately 
and even publicly, rather than do so and thus discount the pro- 
fessional standing of our departing instructors. In some cases 
the cause of their going was in their friction with one or more 
members of the board by which they had lost its confidence 
and destroyed in large measure their usefulness, tho in these 
and all other cases, I ever strove to handle the situation as 
diplomatically and delicately as possible, bearing the onus of 
the change on my own shoulders. 

I believe in permanent tenures for teachers for various 
reasons and have always contended for such a provision in 
our contracts, but whenever a teacher has demonstrated his 
inability to work harmoniously with the organization of which 
he is a part or minimizes his usefulness seriously in any other 
way, he ought to go elsewhere. An institution of learning 
ought to be like a great family. It is no place for self-seekers 
or for mischief mongers, \yhen it breaks up into factions, 
its influence over the young people who come into its atmos- 
phere is pernicious and destructive to a degree seldom under- 
stood by the laity. 

I have been greatly surprised at times over the lack of 
frankness on the part of some candidates for positions in 
my faculty. One illustration must suffice. In his written ap- 
plication he stated that he was a member of the Congregational 
church, but when I asked for the name of the pastor of that 
church in the small city where he had lived for some eleven 
years he was unable to give it to me for he had been deeply 
engrossed in his specialty since going there. No comment is 
necessary! 



123] 



Part V 

Seeing America Millikin Again 
1913-1915 1915-1919 

After disposing of our home to the Kappa Delta Chi boys, 
we decided to spend a few months on the Pacific coast and 
return in time for visits with our children in Kansas and 
Oklahoma before going to Louisiana and Florida after the 
holidays to look after some business interests needing per- 
sonal attention. We later decided to include Skagway, 
Alaska, in our itinerary on the assurance given us that the 
weather would continue propitious into October. 

After a brief stop at Minneapolis with my brother Will 
and family in which we were shown the marvelous develop- 
ment and attractive environments of the Twin Cities, we went 
speeding thru the vast wheat fields of northern Minnesota, 
Dakota, Saskatchawan and Alberta and on over the "top of 
the world" with a forty hour visit at blessed Lake Louise, 
reaching Vancouver in time for a day there before taking the 
superb Canadian Pacific steamer, St. Sophia, for Skagway. 

The voyage up a thousand miles nearer the North Pole, 
with all of its wonderful scenery and novel experiences needs 
several pages for even a partial satisfactory description. The 
two days in and around Skagway while our cargo was being 
discharged and our ship reloaded, in which we filled up on 
Alaskan history and progress and imbibed much of the in- 
fectious Alaskan spirit, were indescribably delightful. The 
day at Victoria on our return with its decidedly English at- 
mosphere was equally enjoyable. 

We woke up in a restful hotel at Seattle the next morning 
and were given an exhilirating auto drive over that fascinating 
city in the afternoon by Dr. and Mrs. Earl Carney, '97 and '96, 
K. S. N. S., respectively, winding up at their charming home 
on the lake-side for a most palatable dinner, followed by an 
evening of good cheer with some thirty old time Kansas State 
Normal guests and some Lincoln University children of the 
seventies, — lovers all and happy in such a privileged reunion. 

[125] 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

The next morning in response to a message from the 
Kansas State Normal School, members of the faculty in the 
Washington State Normal School at Bellingham, to address 
the five hundred students in attendance, we took train on a 
most attractive shore line and as guests of Professors Frank 
Hayes and Ada Hogle were soon comfortably located in the 
former's pleasant home. After a talk to a very responsive 
student body, we sat down to a generous luncheon prepared 
by the domestic science department and found eight K. S. N. S. 
people and one Millikin boy in the company. The president 
of the School and his good wife with a few other choice 
spirits helped make merry as we always did at similar occa- 
sions at Emporia. 

A month's visit with friends on the way back to Denver 
brought us facing a cordial invitation from Mr. and Mrs. 
George Elstun and other good Kansas friends at Colorado 
Springs to switch off there for awhile as we started East again. 
A great surprise was in store for us and as we were rushed 
over to the Elstun's hotel, we were given just fifteen minutes 
to appear in line in the parlors. Nearly forty of them gave 
us a noisy Jayhawker greeting and soon escorted us to the 
banquet table appropriately set and decorated for the occasion. 
A few local educators joined in the festivities. Mrs. Florence 
Marshall Stote, '95, presided as toast master, I use the word 
master advisably, and with a spicy eloquence of the old time 
flavor. The next day we were shown the city schools and the 
college buildings, speaking at the general assembly of the col- 
lege and the high school for a brief period and making calls, 
rounding up with a wholesome dinner at the Stotes' hospitable 
home. 

These experiences are characteristic of the many which 
befell us during the two years in which we were "Seeing 
America." They are given thus briefly to illustrate the grati- 
fying reception given us in almost every city we visited ; for 
in nearly all of them we found former students or teachers 
from one or more of the three institutions with which we 
have been connected and often other old-time acquaintances 
and friends as well ; in some places a very few, in others many, 
but all vying with each other in entertaining us in their homes 
or elsewhere. It might be well to recall the fact that approxi- 
mately 20,000 different students had attended the three institu- 
tions mentioned during my connection with them, a large 
part of them having scattered far abroad. 

Our tour after leaving Colorado included the most of the 
leading cities in southern Kansas and Oklahoma, in Texas, 
Louisiana and Florida. The second summer they included 

[126] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

the White Mountains five weeks, Portland, two, Boston and 
vicinity, six, New Haven and Hartford a few days, New York 
three weeks, Philadelphia and Washington nearly four months. 

In all the places visited, I studied school administration 
and the colleges with some degree of care and thus enlarged 
my knowledge of the educational facilities of our country in 
no small degree. I greatly enjoyed meeting prominent school 
and college men and women here and there and had additional 
pleasure in addressing a score or more of school, college and 
other educational assemblies. I discovered that my little 
books, especially "The Study of the Child" had already opened 
the way for me in many places. 

The length of time spent in the larger cities permitted us 
long coveted leisure in becoming better acquainted with their 
art museums, libraries, public parks, places of historic inter- 
est, public buildings, civic institutions, industrial and commer- 
cial enterprises, religious and philanthropic organizations and 
community problems in general, which were always improved. 

Historic New Orleans so well exploited by the romancers 
added greatly to our enjoyment of a month's visit in that most 
interesting city of the South-land. Our hotel window on St. 
Charles street gave us a rare view of the Mardi Gras 
pageants and festivals — without which one can hardly say he 
has seen the Crescent City. Of course our National Capital 
is the most beautiful and interesting city in America and a few 
months there, especially during congressional sessions are 
always profitable and enjoyable to an American citizen. 

We were followed up in our tours with telegrams and 
letters of greetings and felicitations from good friends in 
Decatur and Millikin as anniversaries and festal days recurred, 
which kept our hearts mellow in grateful appreciation, re- 
sponding in telepathic messages to the senders akin only to 
those sent to our children's homes. A wire from the Millikin 
senior class caught us in the Rocky Mountains as we were 
flying back to Kansas for the Mid-October anniversary and 
also one from it on commencement day 1914 gave us special 
gratification. The Christmas holiday reminders came in a 
great shower from all directions — all of these things making 
us think that perhaps we had not been living in vain. 

Some of the messages lamented the conditions at Millikin 
and urged our early return. Our uniform reply was patience 
and sympathetic cooperation with the new administration as 
the only thinkable course. It was these appeals however 
which gave us courage to respond to the official call to resume 
the helm again when it came. 

Tho our health in the main had been good while on the 

[127] 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

tour, both of us were suddenly stricken in Washington in 
March with its notorious malarial grip, which soon seriously 
threatened to terminate in pneumonia or bronchitis. A fort- 
night's superb nursing and a month's wise medical treatment 
at last put us safely on the road to recovery and daily sun- 
baths completed the job enabling us to start west late in 
April. Tho with some misgivings on the part of our solicitous 
physician, we risked an afternoon with the hospitable family 
of W. M. Davidson, '86 K. S. N. S. superintendent of the city 
schools at Pittsburg, Pa., and felt stronger for it, reaching 
Decatur considerably improved. 

The automobile which met us at the train, landed us 
without delay or ceremony at the Mills pleasant home at Oak 
Crest where a week's fresh air, royal diet and good cheer con- 
firmed the health proposition for us even tho we were 
graciously entertained in other homes and saw much com- 
pany. Our reception at the Millikin chapel hour was also 
most cordial, but our destination was Watonga, Okla., our 
daughter Kittie's home. 

We had not been there long when a telegram came saying 
"You have been elected President Emeritus and Acting Presi- 
dent of Decatur College pending the selection of a permanent 
president. Conference desired at our expense." 

While naturally greatly appreciating the compliment and 
the confidence shown me, I was slow to reach a decision until 
I could become conversant with the whole situation and par- 
ticularly with the attitude of the various interests involved. 
The committee from the Board of Managers, Messrs. L. A. 
Mills, W. M. Wood and H. W. McDavid, afforded me every 
possible facility for getting the desired information which I 
supplemented with personal interviews sufficiently numerous 
to warrant a formal joint meeting with the Board of Managers, 
the resident Trustees of the University and the Trustees of 
the Millikin Estate. 

After a frank canvass of the situation, I told them that 
I was not conscious of any virtue on my part which would 
enable me alone to bring order out of the regrettable confu- 
sion existing, but that if they thought that all the various 
groups interested in Millikin would rally around me as a center 
and cooperate with me in an effort to rehabilitate it, I was 
disposed to accept the position offered me. Having received 
generous affirmative assurance on that point, we discussed 
necessary details and without a formal vote it was understood 
that a minimum of two years would be required for accom- 
plishing the ends desired and for securing a permanent execu- 
tive officer, I was asked to begin as soon as convenient to 

[1281 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

develop plans for the summer's campaign for students and to 
secure instructors for anticipated vacancies. 

Having however an engagement to deliver the semi-cen- 
tennial address to the alumni of the Kansas State Normal 
School on the evening of June 1, I met Mrs. Taylor and 
daughter Kittie there and we were plunged at once into a full 
program of festivities appropriate to the occasion. Being- 
housed in the charming home of President and Mrs. Butcher, 
we were always in the center of things and were walking on 
"the top o' the morning" every hour of the day. 

On the first evening we were part of an Albert Taylor 
Hall dramatic art audience which altho it occupied every foot 
of available space easily recognized us with a hearty greet- 
ing as we entered. 

I had anticipated a similar audience the next evening for 
my address and was much cast down as we walked to the 
rostrum to find perhaps two hundred vacant chairs in the cen- 
ter of the lower auditorium floor and remarked to President 
Butcher that an alumni address did not seem to draw as well 
as a comedy. He merely replied: "They will likely fill up 
later." 

Seated with us were the first principal of the school, Hon. 
Lyman B. Kellogg, and my immediate successor Jasper N. 
Wilkinson. Deft fingers started a march on the piano and 
immediately a bright company of little girls from the Model 
School slipped in and around us with exquisite bouquets for 
us. Without delay a long column of Alumni came in from the 
west corridor, each vying with the other in covering us with 
flowers — love tokens in a grateful shower. All of us blushed 
and bowed and smiled properly and as we sat the vacant chairs 
were filled. The address over and greetings ended, reminis- 
cent dreams filled out the night and a great assembly gathered 
in the morning to hear the inspiring commencement oration 
by Principal Kellogg whom we all named our most honored 
guest. 

The program for the Alumni banquet following was ideal 
in design and execution and was a fitting climax to the week 
and to the half century of brilliant accomplishments. As each 
went his way, blessings of others followed him and heart-felt 
benedictions from all fell upon Alma Mater. 

On my return to Decatur, I had a frank personal confer- 
ence with retiring President Fellows and we soon were fully 
understanding each other and thus the way opened for me to 
acquaint myself better with the situation and to make prelim- 
inary plans for work during the summer vacation. The many 
expressions of delight at my return from all classes of people 

[1291 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

with assurances of cooperation made the coming task much 
easier than it would otherwise have been. 

The general conditions of my return have already been 
mentioned. Others made it possible, among them the re- 
peated expressions of regret by the former president of the 
Board of Managers that he had been so far deceived and 
misled by some whom he trusted that his course had led to 
my resignation which had proved unfortunate for all con- 
cerned ; the assurance on behalf of those he represented that I 
should have unrestricted liberty in the management of the 
College as provided in the charter of the University and the 
cordial support of the Trustees of the Millikin Estate in an 
effort to recover and maintain lost ground, that cooperation 
to include the financial allowance necessary for accomplishing 
it. 

As a result of active canvassing and generous cooperation 
from the students the slump in the attendance was stopped, a 
score of salaries raised, additional equipment purchased, a new 
spirit manifested itself everywhere and the year ended with 
a neat balance in the treasury as against a considerable deficit 
the preceding year. 

The entrance of the United States into the European war, 
in April caused many of our boys to enlist, but under our ad- 
vice the major part of those desiring to do so continued in their 
studies until they were called into the officers training camps 
at Ft. Sheridan or elsewhere in May or early June. In spite 
of this exodus the graduating class in June was about forty- 
five and the total enrollment in all departments 1105, an in- 
crease of more than three hundred over the year preceding my 
return. 

War's alarms and the urgent calls for vast armies together 
with the selective draft system inaugurated to increase them 
threatened to depopulate the colleges and universities of the 
country for the year 1917-18. From the first the National 
Government had found it necessary to employ college men 
from the faculties and from the student bodies in increasing 
numbers to assist it in scores of departments, civil and mili- 
tary, in enlisting, equipping, training and mobilizing its armies 
and yet realizing the danger ahead in case practically all the 
young men should forsake the College walls, it issued a hurry- 
up call for the college presidents to assemble in Washington 
for a conference on the untoward situation. Some eighty 
institutions were represented and after much deliberation it 
was agreed that the government on its part would use its great 
influence to induce the young men to continue in college and 
high school preparing for the more efficient service they could 

[130] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

later give as the urgency became greater and on their part that 
the colleges should modify their courses so far as possible in 
order to anticipate the government requirements later and 
thus contribute to increased efficiency in the various arms of 
the public service. 

The result was that the combined appeals of the National 
Government and the educational institutions generally resulted 
in stabilizing the atmosphere and the enrollment in most of 
them was not so seriously reduced as at first feared. The ad- 
vanced classes lost most of their men everywhere, but the 
lower ones held their own quite well. The total enrollment 
at Millikin was slightly in excess of the previous year. The 
finances showed the same satisfactory balance as before. 

Before the declaration of war on the part of the United 
States, the increased demand for wireless and radio operators 
and telegraphers had prompted us to provide facilities in both 
lines and many students inside and outside college entered the 
special courses offered. Aerials were installed for radio work 
and great was the disappointment afterwards that the Govern- 
ment found it necessary to order all radio apparatus dis- 
mantled even tho Millikin had been named as an authorized 
school of instruction by it. No persuasion could reinstate us, 
not even when orders were later given us to organize a class 
of designated drafted men for elementary instruction antici- 
pating their transportation elsewhere for advanced work as 
prepared for it. 

The old time Battalion was reorganized in the spring of 
1917 and two good companies under the command of Doctors 
Meek and Kellogg, whose military training at Toronto and 
at Cornell University in their college days had happily fitted 
them for such an emergency. Aided by the advice of some 
experienced ex-military men in the city, the drills accomplished 
surprisingly good results, which proved most profitable to 
many of the boys as they entered the Fort Sheridan Officers 
Training Camp, The Great Lakes Station, and service else- 
where. 

So generously and universally had the colleges supplied 
students and instructors in response to urgent calls for capable 
men for service in a great variety of lines and so acceptable 
had they been found far above the average volunteers and 
drafted men, that the government offered every possible in- 
ducement to college men generally to come to its relief in 
the portentous conflict which it was facing. The wave of 
patriotism thus aroused was heightened by the lowering of the 
age limits for enlistment and for the draft and threatened to 
depopulate the advance high school and the college classes 

ri3ii 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

everywhere to such an extent that it almost produced a panic 
among educational authorities in general. 

Appeal after appeal was issued by national officers, civil 
and military, for the young men to remain in school and col- 
lege and fit themselves for greater efficiency when they would 
be more urgently needed later on. Military training as a part 
of the curricula was encouraged under government assistance. 
It soon became evident however that the exigencies of the sit- 
uation demanded a more compact and efficient organization in 
order to insure the highest possible results at the earliest prac- 
ticable moment and hence the students Army Training Corps 
was organized to be jointly in charge of the war department 
and the colleges with a Unit of not less than one hundred 
physically fit students in each institution. 

The department of Education and Special Training called 
conferences with college authorities from all parts of the coun- 
try for the purpose of outlining the plan and giving definite 
instructions for its execution. In brief, it included an organ- 
ized unit in each college under the supervision of an experi- 
enced commanding officer with certain designated periods each 
day and week for military training with correlated college 
courses under the supervision of the college authorities, the 
general management and control of the soldier students to be 
shared by both. 

The colleges were asked to meet certain academic re- 
quirements in the way of buildings, equipment, instructors 
and curricula and provide the necessary buildings and equip- 
ment for housing and feeding the students in conformity with 
plans and specifications furnished by the committee. While 
the encampment was to be under military control and discip- 
line, the colleges were to provide subsistence tho at the gov- 
ernment's expense. 

The students were to be inducted into the United States 
Army and subject to active service on call. Subsistence and 
lodging, full equipment, and medical care were to be provided 
at the expense of the government and all were to be paid the 
usual salary of a private soldier, thirty dollars per month. A 
college education with all expenses paid and such wage in ad- 
dition together with a prospect of a commission at no distant 
day proved talismanic and throngs of young men rushed to 
the colleges from all directions, many wiring or phoning for 
reservations lest there be no room for them as they appeared. 
We were approved and granted a Unit by the committee and 
asked for two hundred students, but so great was the number 
reporting under the stimulating and attractive advertising 
done by us, most enthusiastically supplemented by the Deca- 

[132] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

tur Association of Commerce, that we soon offered to care for 
four hundred, which limit was so fully assured ere long that 
we were asked to take seventy-five more. I was unwilling to 
attempt to care for so many however, for I was satisfied that 
we could not do it thoroly well with our facilities, even tho 
we had increased them materially in equipment and teaching 
force. 

For such a large number it became necessary for us to 
erect six two-story barracks in accord with war department 
plans, and a mess hall to seat about five hundred in case of 
an emergency. We decided to utilize our fine gymnasium for 
officers' quarters, general assembly and toilet purposes, which 
would require an expenditure of several thousand dollars for 
extra plumbing, etc. Having no funds to provide all these ac- 
commodations which we figured would cost at least thirty 
thousand dollars, but being assured of reimbursement in the 
end by the government, we appealed for assistance to the 
Board of Directors of the Association of Commerce which 
promptly appointed a committee to cooperate with us. This 
committee solicited endorsement of our obligations and easily 
secured the names of forty citizens guaranteeing one thousand 
dollars each, the city banks readily agreeing to advance the 
money as needed. I felt extremely gratified at this mark of 
confidence in our business management and tho there were 
some ominous predictions of the outcome, we had the pleas- 
ure of refunding every cent of the loan which, including inter- 
est amounted to nearly thirty thousand dollars, part of it 
coming from the sale of barracks and equipment. 

The national committee was overwhelmed with applica- 
tions of colleges and the vastness of the work incident to the 
inauguration of an enterprise involving 600 of them and 
150,000 young men seeking enrollment and assignment, and 
hence distressing delay followed in scores of cases in the 
approval of plans and contracts for the erection of buildings 
and the installation of equipment. But with five hundred 
students on hands awaiting housing and the barracks hardly 
started a perplexing problem confronted us. The National 
Council of Defense came to our rescue and thru its active as- 
sistance we soon had offers of more rooms than needed in the 
homes of the good people of the city, without money and with- 
out price. It was, however, but another spontaneous expres- 
sion of good will and patriotism so characteristic of our friends 
here. They found the boys generally most appreciative of 
their hospitality and the experience was mutually enjoyable. 

It took from two to three weeks to finish all the barracks 
and open the big mess hall. The boys had in the meantime 

[1331 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

taken their meals in various places being reimbursed later 
for the same after October, by the government. The num- 
ber actually inducted was 405. 

The process of adjustment to the new situation moved 
forward rapidly tho not as happily as it might have been had 
the commanding officer been less arrogant in his attitude to- 
ward the college authorities. He was a fine drill-master but 
ere long demonstrated his utter inability to adapt himself to 
our environment and I went to headquarters at Washington, 
quickly securing his transfer and the assignment of a different 
type of man in his place. The effect of the pernicious influ- 
ence of the former officer was not so easily eliminated how- 
ever for it occasionally revealed itself to the end. 

His successor, tho not so good a drill-master, more fully 
represented the policy of the committee and strove to cooperate 
with the college in maintaining its ideals and in making men 
of high personal character as well as good soldiers. His of- 
ficers caught his spirit and the life of the camp was soon 
greatly improved. 

We had hardly settled down again to our work, the re- 
adjustment having practically lost us a fortnight's time, when 
an epidemic of influenza struck us, quickly carrying off two of 
our young men and compelling a suspension of the S. A. T. C. 
classes for a month together with a quarantine around the 
campus for the same period. Then came the armistice which 
threw the whole Unit into a fever of unrest in anticipation of 
early demobilization. 

The order for examinations and final demobilization on 
December 21 came at last and officers and men began preparing 
for it with evident satisfaction, social functions multiplied and 
discharge papers kept many clerks and typewriters busy to 
insure every soldier boy time to reach home for Christmas. A 
parting word at chapel and jolly talks from the officers at clos- 
ing mess, sent each one off to his home conscious of an 
experience that was fully worth while, and with few exceptions 
a healthier, stronger and more dependable citizen of the 
Republic. 

We have often been asked whether the experiment was a 
success. From a scholastic point of view it could hardly be 
so considered. To my mind however, the difficulty was in- 
herent to the method of organization and the inability of the 
military officers in charge to adapt it to a college situation and 
to a college atmosphere. The curriculum and schedule to- 
gether with the plan of joint administration submitted to us 
at Fort Sheridan was in the main consistent, understandable, 
and feasibly elastic, but the hasty revision following already 

[134] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

mentioned, bore many evidences of patchwork under military 
dictation with little regard for the fundamentals so clearly 
dominating the initiation of the scheme. I am convinced that 
the dissatisfaction so prevalent among college men would not 
have arisen had these changes not been made. 

In leaving this subject, I wish to express my abiding ap- 
preciation of the many courtesies shown us by the members of 
The National Committee and the officials assigned to the work 
of its various administrative departments. They had a great 
task to perform in a time-limit wholly insufficient for its ac- 
complishment. Had not peace cut short its career, the verdict 
on the S. A. T. C. might have been entirely different. Its 
aims were lofty and patriotic, worthy of the nation and the 
hour in which its conception was born. We would not have 
missed the opportunity to have our part in it for all that it 
cost and many times over. It has given the college a place, a 
mission, a vision in our country's seething, on-rushing life that 
will increase its usefulness far beyond that which it has ever 
exerted before. 

The comprehensive nature of Millikin's organization and 
the variety of courses already making up its curricula enabled 
us to adjust ourselves to the courses laid down by the com- 
mittee much more readily than most colleges and demonstrated 
the ability of a college of the modern type to meet the multi- 
phase demands of our times. About a third of the Unit con- 
tinued thru a part or all the rest of the college year and a 
goodly per cent of the remainder returned as the next year 
opened. They contributed much in perpetuating the increas- 
ing virile spirit entering into the life of the college with the 
coming of the training unit. 

The process of settling up with the committee from the 
war department was somewhat prolonged as we were required 
to await our turn among the colleges with training units, but 
the final adjustment including the disposal of the buildings 
and equipment was in the main very satisfactory, the official 
adjustor expressing himself as much pleased with our financial 
management of the Unit as shown by our books and reports, 
great credit for which is due our painstaking, conscientious 
auditor, Mr. C. W. Dyer, who from the opening of the college 
in 1903 has so efficiently served as secretary and auditor, now 
comptroller. 

The rare spirit and enthusiastic cooperation of the mem- 
bers of the board of managers throughout the encampment in- 
sured its success from the first, while on the scholastic side the 
members of the faculty vied with each other in conscientious 
devotion to their trust. 

[135] 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

The opening of the following college year in September 
showed that the reaction of the World-war included an in- 
creased appreciation of the value of higher education, the en- 
rollment in the high schools and colleges being greatly in ex- 
cess of any previous year. 

I had occasionally reminded our College Board of the 
fact that my return in 1915 was understood to be until such 
time as the affairs of the college assumed a normal condition 
and a satisfactory president could be secured. A committee 
on the subject was finally appointed of which I was ex officio a 
member, but it did not seem to make much progress, tho ap- 
proaching some excellent men who however proved unavaila- 
ble. 

In 1918, Dr. J. C. Hessler was appointed dean of the col- 
lege with a view to relieving me of some detail work as much 
of my time was required in connection with the new endow- 
ment campaign for increasing our interest bearing funds one 
million dollars in response to the proposition of the trustees of 
the Millikin estate, a culmination of my executive relationship 
for which I had long been hoping. That was progressing 
finely under the direction of a most competent citizen's com- 
mittee, and yet the fiscal year was nearing its close and no 
successor had been found. 

Thinking my resignation as Acting President might facili- 
tate the process and realizing the advisability of relief from 
the onerous duties of the office, I asked the board to excuse 
me from further service at the end of the college year in June, 
1919. At a full meeting of the Managers and the resident 
Trustees of the University, my request was granted with per- 
sonal and formal expressions of appreciation of my services in 
the organization and development of the institution together 
Avith the tender of a generous pension. 

On August 20, 1917, our beloved Dr. John E. Rouse died 
suddenly on his vacation at Berkley, California, leaving his 
estate in trust with A. H. Mills and myself for the benefit of 
the Decatur College, specifically to endow a chair of Philoso- 
phy. We used the income as directed and in October, 1919, 
sold profitably the real estate in our hands investing the pro- 
ceeds in additional notes and bonds. The total accumulated 
principal and interests was about forty thousand dollars, which 
we transferred to the Millikin Trust Company in perpetuity as 
authorized and instructed by the county court in January, 
1922. The Board of Managers authorized the erection of the 
memorial tablet in the main lobby. 

For much of the time after the opening of the college, the 
College Commission or the Board of Managers had an agent 

[136] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

in the field canvassing for funds and incidentally for students 
also, my time being given chiefly to administrative work, for 
I insisted that the principal thing for us to do in the first de- 
cade was to build up an institution which would command the 
confidence of our friends and of the church at large, thus in- 
suring reliable patronage as well as liberal financial support. 
As explained elsewhere I improved every opportunity, how- 
ever to interest people of means in our behalf. 

The Williams Fund for aiding poor and deserving stu- 
dents, now amounting to about $250,000, came through nego- 
tiations with me by Mr. Hobart Williams' representative, and 
was secured in perpetuity to the college by me in correspond- 
ence and personal conference with him and his trust com- 
pany's secretary. That fund has already proved a great bless- 
ing to many hundred deserving students and with its accumu- 
lating feature will care for increasing numbers with each 
recurring year. It was one of the most notable things of the 
kind ever done in this country for his benefaction included a 
similar amount for four other Illinois colleges, thus totaling 
over one and a quarter million dollars. As they were founded 
nearly half a century before Millikin, it was a graceful recogni- 
tion of its growth and standing in the college world. 



[1371 




THE HUBBELL PORTRAIT, DECATUR, ILLINOIS 



The Institute of Civic Arts 

Mrs. Millikin's will in 1913 set apart the family home- 
stead for art purposes and at the request of the trustees of her 
estate I improved the opportunities afforded us to study the 
various art institutes and galleries on our two-year vacation 
with a view of suggesting an organization and method of 
carrying out her wishes to make it serve as a community asset 
for Decatur. Tho much pleased at my report on the subject, 
they were unable to finance it on my return. 

As the war was closing however, a few interested friends 
joined me in formulating a plan out of which the present 
Decatur Institute of Civic Arts was finally organized in 1919 
in close accord with my suggestions. A board of nine direc- 
tors was elected whose ideals and enthusiasm in the movement 
at once insured its success. I was honored with the presi- 
dency for many years and am now President Emeritus and 
a director. Desiring to test the possibility of awakening suf- 
ficient interest in the community to sustain such an enterprise, 
it was mutually thought wise for her trustees to lease the 
homestead to us for a period of years as an experiment. They 
agreed to contribute twenty five hundred dollars each year 
and later three thousand for expenses, as we raised at least 
a similar amount. This we have succeeded in doing for many 
years with sufficient margin in membership fees to purchase 
valuable paintings, etc., and to maintain the building and 
grounds in an attractive condition. 

The exhibits and entertainments under its auspices have 
already aroused a loyal clientage and its possibilities as a 
distinct educative factor in the development of the civic life 
of this part of central Illinois is clearly recognized. The local 
organizations alined with it are being reinforced by others and 
we have faith in its continued usefulness in a rapidly increas- 
ing sphere. The value of the property including a small en- 
dowment is easily $100,000. 

In 1923 the Art Institute and the University jointly em- 
ployed Mr. H. S. Hubbell, a leading New York artist, to paint 
my portrait agreeing to share alternately in its possession. 
This was a very gracious expression of their goodwill which 
we naturally appreciate greatly. 

[139] 



Part VI 

Millikin a Third Time 

1924 

Some untoward circumstances called me back again to 
the acting presidency of Millikin, on May 1, 1924. 

An accumulation of grievances between two members of 
the faculty and the Board of Managers resulting from the dis- 
position of the former to persistently ignore the well known 
wishes of the latter, regarding certain policies brought a 
crisis, which was precipitated by the Board's refusal to re- 
employ them for the following year. 

The Dean resented the action as overriding his preroga- 
tive as acting President and declined to serve further in that 
capacity, tho urged by the Board not to decide so hastily. He 
declared his action irrevocable and left the room. 

The contracts for the other members of the faculty were 
authorized, but the news of the action regarding the others 
aroused intense feeling among their intimate friends in the 
faculty and the student body, one of them being very popular 
in his classes generally. A mass meeting of students was 
called, and after a discussion of the matter, an advisory com- 
mittee was appointed, and a walk-out authorized pending a 
report from it after a conference with the Board. 

Tho giving the Committee respectful hearing, the Board 
declined to rescind its action, as it did also in response to a 
communication signed by a small minority of the faculty ask- 
ing for a rehearing of the case of the two in question. The 
walk-out was on then in earnest, and the afternoon of Satur- 
day was largely occupied by the Board in discussing the 
methods of procedure, being conscious of the gravity of the 
situation, and desirous of avoiding further friction if possible. 

I was called up from my home and asked for an interview. 
In reaching the office, I was given a little insight into the mat- 
ter and requested to assume the duties of Acting President. 
Of course I was greatly surprised and slow to accept, but 

[141] 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

polled the members separately, each one assuring me that it 
was his personal desire that I should do so if I felt that my 
health would permit. After consulting Mrs. Taylor I an- 
swered affirmatively. 

The arrangement was soon known in college circles and 
published in both Sunday morning papers. As we were at 
breakfast our next neighbor came in with a message which 
he had found on the front lawn and stated that as he and his 
wife came in late the evening before, a red cross was aflame 
above our hedge, which they extinguished. The message 
read — "Do not accept the position. We are with the students. 
Beware! K. K. K." 

We took it as a student prank, but in either case, it did 
not disturb us and I was at my post on time Monday morning. 
Few classes usually met in the forenoon anyhow, so the after- 
noon attendance showed the real situation as reported by the 
instructors, all of whom were practically conducting their 
classes as usual. 

Chapel exercises on Tuesday revealed at least a two-thirds 
absence out of nearly six hundred. I counseled order and 
descretion on the part of everybody, appealing to the students 
to avoid any excesses for the sake of the good name of the 
College and of their own interests. 

At a called meeting of the faculty in the afternoon, I made 
a similar appeal, and insisted that the outcome rested with 
them or even with half a dozen or so whose names I could 
easily call, and hoped they would exert their influence for a 
return of the absent students. Several of them came to see 
me and insisted that they were mis-represented. 

In the meantime, a committee from the alumni, including 
a few from outside the city, appeared before the Board and 
after a friendly discussion over matters submitted several 
propositions along with those presented by the Walk-out Stu- 
dents' Committee at a conference the day before. They soon 
learned that the citizens and the local alumni generally were 
in accord with the Board in its attitude in the matter, and at 
the conference following they announced that they would not 
support the request for the restoration of the members of the 
faculty in question, nor for the rescinding of the actions of the 
Board relating to the walk-out but desired affirmative response 
on a proposition for closer relationship of the student body 
and the alumni, with reference to matters of common interest 
in the future. They were assured that the Board would at 
all times be pleased to give sympathetic consideration to mat- 
ters presented by them as well as by the faculty, a thing which 

[142] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

in reality they had always been ready to do and had done in 
the past. 

On Saturday morning the students' steering committee 
met in conference with me and asked on what conditions they 
might return. I replied that I had been greatly pleased with 
the general lack of disorder and the discretion shown by them 
during the walk-out, and that they could resume their work on 
the following conditions : 

(a) That their absences would not be excused nor counted 
as cuts. 

(b) They would however be allowed to make up their les- 
sons at times convenient to their instructors, and 

(c) That the members of the faculty would not discount 
their personal rank on account of the course they had pursued. 

This I reduced to writing assuring them of my personal 
confidence in their intentions to do the right thing. 

Public announcement of the acceptance of the conditions 
was made, and at a students' convocation on Monday follow- 
ing resumption of classes and other college activities was 
voted. Practically all of them returned promptly, and all stu- 
dent's functions were formally resumed, rounding out Com- 
mencement week with the usual inspiring exercises, a most 
gratifying out-come of a very distressful situation. 

The Board reaffirmed its long-time attitude as set forth 
in its recent communications with the alumni, students and 
faculty committees, thus helping to clarify the atmosphere and 
quicken mutual confidence. 

I continued to act as President of the College representing 
it at the General Assembly conference with the General Edu- 
cation Board at Grand Rapids in May and in a special con- 
ference with the members of the Illinois Synod's committee on 
some of our problems. 

In my absence the Board of Managers elected Dr. Mark 
E. Penney of the Ohio State University to the vacant presi- 
dency by a unanimous vote. As he did not wish to assume 
the duties of his office until September, I continued to act in 
that capacity until that time selecting new members of the 
faculty for vacancies occurring, looking after the advertising, 
and all other necessary matters. I frequently communicated 
with him, but he was indisposed to advise me much holding 
that I was better informed than he concerning the most of 
them. 

The erection of various homes and the construction and 
equipment of the extensive additions to the State Normal 
School and the superb group of buildings of the University at 
Decatur and the fine administration building at Lincoln, to- 

[143] 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

gether with the attention required by several other business 
interests kept me quite well in touch with the commercial 
world and aided much in the quick erection of the necessary 
accommodations for the S. A. T. C. Unit in 1917. 

The financial and executive management of the large and 
growing institutions of learning which I served as president 
involving an outlay of several million dollars and the super- 
vision of nearly twenty thousand different students, including 
the pilotage of necessary appropriation and important educa- 
tional bills thru the legislature, and the cultivation of patron- 
izing fields thru visitations and lectures innumerable, to say 
nothing of the exacting duties as a member of the State Board 
of Education in Kansas for nineteen years, as a member and 
official of state and national educational associations, of the 
Presbyterian General Assembly's Brotherhood Council and 
Committee on religious education with active official respon- 
sibilities in all of them, as well as in many others, left me little 
time for cultivating laziness. 

The social life of the young people in our early home 
community was dominated largely by that simplicity and cor- 
diality so characteristic of the Friends and their pastimes were 
somewhat limited in scope tho not in enjoyment for a happier 
lot is seldom found. Gatherings at the homes usually in- 
cluded children in arms and the old folk as well with fun for 
everybody inside and outside the house. Lyceums, spelling 
matches, singing schools, ball games, picnics, anniversaries, 
nutting, berrying, fishing, marketing, horseback riding, fairs, 
elections, etc., afforded recreation aplenty on week days, while 
Sunday mornings were devoted to Sunday-School and church 
and the afternoons to social visits with big dinners which no- 
body cared to miss. The day often brought welcome guests 
from far away who added spice to such occasions. 

All classes were great readers and did not lack for some- 
thing to talk about. This made them very progressive in all 
phases of their busy lives, in their home equipment, their cook- 
ing, farming, road-building, stock raising, their schools and 
in their politics. They were among the first to secure rural 
mail delivery, to install windmills and the telephone with a 
local central in a country home using barbed wire fence for 
communication, to fit up their houses and barns with all man- 
ner of modern conveniences, to establish a consolidated school, 
the first in the West and to cooperate with the national relief 
associations in the Civil and World wars. The educative and 
stimulative effect of such an atmosphere on young people can 
easily be appreciated. 

At Wenona a Cumberland Presbyterian Church was or- 

[1441 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

ganized, my father being elected elder, and Rev. S. R. Shull 
and Rev. S. E. Hudson in succession its pastor. An attractive 
building was erected and well furnished for those days, 1863. 
Rev. Leroy Woods, a most able and lovable man, served as 
pastor for nearly ten years, his estimable family being in- 
valuable additions to our flock and to the social life of the 
town. Later I served in various capacities in the Sunday- 
school acting as the superintendent in the absence of that 
officer. A reed organ, located in the middle of the auditorium 
in deference to my father's wishes, formed the nucleus for the 
choir of young people which I usually led, the efficient and 
popular organist being Frances Minerva Dent, to whom its 
cohesion and usefulness was largely due. Most of our family 
were natural musicians and sang in it for a long time. My 
mother of course with her large family was deeply interested 
in the congregation's growth tho active participation in it was 
delayed until her brood began to scatter. 

The town was not able to support so many churches, and 
the United Presbyterians ceased to hold regular services 
about 1870. The Cumberland lost many members by death 
and migration, and after a heroic struggle in which my father 
long served as elder, janitor, and paymaster for it too, closed 
its doors tho opened occasionally to visiting preachers of other 
denominations. The building was at last sold to W. E. Mon- 
ser to become a Men's Club House for social and religious pur- 
poses. 

I do not recall that my father was ever a party to a law- 
suit of any kind, so careful was he to live out the life he pro- 
fessed in business as well as in personal relations. His exam- 
ple had its effect upon me for during my whole life I have 
been equally free from litigation so trial lawyers would have 
poor picking if all citizens needed them no more than we 
did. I never served on a jury and was summoned but once. 
That was in a whiskey case in which the saloon-keeper's law- 
yer excused me unceremoniously. After I became a teacher 
I was exempt from jury duty however. 

One of the most encouraging features of my work at Mil- 
likin was the confidence and loyalty of my former Lincoln 
students as shown in the large number who sent their sons 
and daughters to us for their college courses, — grandchildren, 
Mrs. Taylor and I always called them, — a whole brood com- 
ing in many cases. Nearly 200 of them came in the first de- 
cade, earnest consecrated spirits constant reminders of their 
forbears and of our happy years with them in their aspiring 
days. Including their relatives and personal friends who 
came to Millikin with them, the number swelling the enroll- 

[145] 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

merit from that source was certainly double that named above. 
And so thruout the years to come that same vital stream will 
continue to enter its walls and pass out imbued with its lofty 
spirit to kindred consecrated service. 

I have had occasion to say that I was poorly prepared to 
become a college instructor both on account of the elementary 
character of my scholastic knowledge and of my lack of ex- 
perience. Had I known that it was to be my life work, I am 
sure that my preparation for it would have been far more in- 
tensive and comprehensive. One thing I did possess — a rever- 
ence for the dignity of the calling which soon set me on fire 
with an enthusiasm that has never waned. What I lacked in 
knowledge I made up in zeal that was sufficiently contagious 
to quicken my students generally to try to keep up with me 
in my studies in the increasingly larger fields of investigation 
which I felt I owed to myself and to them. 

Consciousness of my limitations also forced me to a more 
thorough preparation of each day's lessons which gave them a 
freshness and originality that made the recitations more en- 
joyable to myself and to my classes. This begat a confidence 
in my ability which association with other science teachers of 
some reputation increased considerably. At first I was con- 
sumed by a fear that some of my students might discover how 
little I knew, but I was not long in learning that frankness is 
the best policy and asked for time to inform myself further if 
necessary. That same spirit gave them zest that made us fel- 
low students working together. 

That lack of confidence in myself which drove me to col- 
lege has however, always remained with me, embarrassing me 
at times more than my friends have seemed to appreciate. It 
included a diffidence in social life and on the platform that I 
have never entirely overcome. I have found much satisfac- 
tion, however, in the confessions of many men of great attain- 
ments, even such as Henry Ward Beecher, Isaac Newton and 
others. 

I found the completion of the Quarter-Centennial History 
of the University was a much larger job than I had anticipated 
and was frequently impressed with the fact that more space 
than I had intended to give to The Story of Mr. Millikin's 
Life than was advisable in it. I therefore conferred with Dr. 
S. E. McClelland, chairman of the Trustees of the Millikin 
estate, with reference to its publication in a separate volume 
and as I was wishing to make a long intended visit to the 
homesteads of my parents in localities near the Millikin homes 
in Pennsylvania, suggested that if desired I could also make 
a somewhat exhaustive study of the early forbears of our 

H461 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

James Millikin in Washington county and elsewhere, with a 
view of discovering the influences which conspired to make 
him the man he was and to prompt his generous benefactions. 

He and his associates approved it and his Life-Story is 
the result. It contains much valuable material gathered in 
that county and in the records in Philadelphia, New York and 
Boston. Its reception and appreciation was very gratifying, 
the graduating class of that year assuming the expense of its 
publication. 

While in that part of Pennsylvania with Brownsville as 
headquarters, I made several trips to various localities as ex- 
plained in the following memoranda : On arriving there in 
the afternoon I called on a Mr. Samuel E. Taylor, president 
of the leading bank, with whom I had had some correspond- 
ence relating to my trip and who had placed himself at my dis- 
posal. Following his advice I spent the afternoon interview- 
ing several persons named by him and secured much valuable 
information from them and some county histories placed at 
my service by a Mr. Risbeck, whose memory included stories 
of LaFayette's last visit to America. 

As I had heard much about the city from my early days, 
I was keenly interested in every thing I saw. The main busi- 
ness part is on the east side of the Monongahela river and 
hangs down along a few terraces to the water's edge, where 
runs the Pittsburg railway. It is covered with quite a mixture 
of old-time buildings and perhaps a score or more of the 
modern type. Three good bank buildings tower above the 
others several stories in height ; that of the Taylors costing 
half a million dollars. The first main street of stores, hotels, 
garages, cafes, etc. is perhaps nearly a dozen blocks long, a 
few cross streets and alleys running up the hillside. The 
usual low and semi-dilapidated buildings along the bank of 
old river towns generally are a plenty there. 

On the upper terraces a large proportion of the residences 
are of the better sort an especially fine one not being infre- 
quent. The population is about 6,000. A fine dam with wide 
docks has long made it an important shipping point. 50,000 
tons of coal pass down the river in barges every day. Its 
hotels are inexcusable. The one at which I stopped was built 
over a century and a half ago and is in a neighborhood of 
equally ancient structures. 

It was a great boat and ship-building center in the early 
day and in the wars of 1812, 1846, 1861 and 1917-19, and it is 
a very busy and progressive burg today. It was from this 
port that Uncle Eli Mills and Captain Herman Price ran their 

[H7| 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

boat to the West and also where our forebears embarked for 
Hennepin, Illinois in 1839-42. 

I made a special effort to get definite information con- 
cerning some Kimber relatives but only old Risbeck could 
recall any one of that name and he said one of them ran a 
little bake-shop in West Brownsville probably 80 years ago 
which was famous for its ginger cookies and beer. My 
grandfather Taylor and his son, Uncle Charles, were boat- 
carpenters there but of the many of that name living in that 
vicinity now, none of our tribe is in evidence at this time. 

The next morning Mr. Taylor picked me up in his fine 
auto and we were soon spinning thru West Brownsville over 
the river and hills to Centerville some six or more miles away 
where his ancestors lived and where he was born. My 
mother's brothers and sisters, children of Joseph and Sarah 
Railey Mills were also born near by, and we were soon in the 
large stone house from which they migrated to Illinois. It 
is beautifully located on the crest of a little knoll overlook- 
ing a charming valley with many interesting vistas up and 
down the rolling hills far away. That house is reputed to 
have been erected by my grandfather Joseph Mills in 1824. 
Before moving west, he was for some years superintendent of 
the West Brownsville glass works. It must have been a 
prosperous business for he was robbed of some $500 at one 
time, a big sum for those days. 

Of course I examined carefully the thick stone walls in 
the old Mills house and walked reverently through it winding 
up at the clear and wholesome spring near by. I knocked 
some apples off unkempt trees in the orchard, but they were 
green and hard. The Pusey family purchased it from our 
folks who sold it to a Mr. Griffith soon after, the young people 
settling in Ottawa, Illinois, and Council Bluffs, Iowa. Charles 
Webeck, a thrifty German farmer, now owns it. His address 
is West Brownsville, R. F. D. 

W r e visited my friend Taylor's home beyond which has 
the same thick, substantial walls with the same interesting 
vistas over and across the far-reaching valleys. We tarried 
there awhile being highly entertained by his vivacious, gray- 
haired aunt, an octogenarian of the lovely old-fashioned type. 

We then drove over to the West-land graveyard five 
miles away on the other side of Centerville where rest many 
of the long ago dead tho until lately no markers or tombstones 
had ever been placed at their graves and few can be identified 
now. The church to which my mother's and Samuel E. Tay- 
lor's people belonged was disbanded half a century ago and 
the building finally torn down. Over a score of years since 

[148] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

he bought the graveyard for $51 and formed a corporation 
which soon greatly improved the site. It is now well covered 
with monuments and will be properly cared for in all the years 
to come, hence our great obligations to him. 

We drove back to the home of a very old man by the name 
of Hopkins Moffett down east of Centerville. He lives in an 
attractive modern home near an old mill-site which quickly 
started me a'dreaming. He said that in his younger years he 
was a breeder and trader in fine horses and had driven many 
fast ones all over that country. Now however, his children 
do not permit him to drive his own automobile anywhere tho 
if allowed to do so he would "show them a turn or two over 
those hills that would quickly wake them up." 

Here Mr. Taylor said that I was about ten years too late 
to gather the many details which I was seeking for since my 
correspondence with his father in 1914, many old folks who 
probably knew my ancestors had been called to their long 
home. The county histories availed little for their compilers 
seemingly overlooked most families whose immediate children 
had migrated in the great movement to the West in the earlier 
half of the last century. 

At Ten-mile, I had access to the old Pleasant Hill church 
session book which is quite well preserved. The church 
building stands on a little knoll just outside the village. In 
it I discovered the names of many of our Millikins and also 
of the Cumberland Presbyterian church fathers familiar to 
me in my youth. Among them were those of Rev. Leroy 
Woods who married Mrs. Taylor and me, and Rev. Samuel 
E. Hudson, one time pastor of our Cumberland Presbyterian 
church at Wenona, Illinois. There was also the name of 
Rev. Samuel M. Aston, father of Mrs. James Millikin. 

The next day I ran up to Uniontown some forty miles 
away through a bewildering maze of mining towns, coke 
ovens and factory centers, in which place my father served an 
apprenticeship in the tanner's trade. On arriving there, I was 
the welcome guest of Mr. Ewing and Miss Louise Porter, 
whose Aunt Isabella Murphy, became the wife of my father 
in 1840, but who was a victim of consumption scarcely a year 
afterward. Their mother, a sister of Isabella, had taught all 
her children to call him Uncle John and so they speak of him 
still for he was a great favorite among them. Aaron T. Por- 
ter, "our cousin" at Emporia, Kansas, their brother, still rec- 
ognizes the kinship. 

I spent the evening in their hospitable home talking over 
the days a'gone and securing helpful suggestions for my Fay- 
ette City trip. All the old-time tanneries are gone in that 

[149] 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

thriving city and no spot could be identified as having been 
the site of an ancient one. 

As Morgantown, West Virginia, the former home of Mrs. 
Taylor's ancestors, was but a few hours ride up the river, I ran 
up there for a Sunday's visit with Miss Retta Gapen, a favor- 
ite cousin on Grand-mother Gapen Dent's side, and a former 
Normal student at Emporia. 

On my return I went up to Fayette City, formerly Cooks- 
town, on the Monongahela river. We had often heard our 
father speak of it by the latter name. There a Mr. John 
Brown of the City Bank kindly drove me about for a few 
hours. Going back over and between lovely hills and prosper- 
ous farms some three miles southwest we rounded up at the 
old Harmony Cumberland Presbyterian church, successor to 
the original erected over ninety years ago, to which our father 
most probably belonged. W r e were quickly through the dilapi- 
dated fence surrounding the cemetery adjoining, reading the 
inscriptions on the old slabs of which there were several dozen. 

Soon I heard a cry from John and running over he read 
for me 

"In memory of Isabella Ann Taylor, Consort of lohn 
Taylor, Who died August 12, 18 41, Age 21 years and 
3 days." 

I could hardly believe my eyes ! We traced it over and over 
again. I recalled that my sister Isabel's name given her at 
birth, was Isabella. She dropped the last two letters in her 
teens. I trembled with joy and sought for more, We then 
read the inscription on a duplicate stone at the left. 

"In memory of Ellenor I. Murphy, Daughter of Isaac 
and Nancy Murphy, Died Inly 1, 18 41." 

She was a sister of Isabella. 

I was satisfied and sent John to turn his auto toward the 
city thus leaving me alone. I then gathered a cluster of 
beautiful wild flowers and reverently placed them on their 
graves with a fervent prayer of thanksgiving, bowing in 
silent communion for a blessing upon all of my dear ones as 
I slowly walked away. 

Fayette, like Brownsville, looks as old as the hills along 
the terraces near the river, but quite modern above. The 
country round about is very beautiful and shows prosperity 
and contentment. Practically all the coal under it has been 
sold at princely prices by those holding out for them. 

At Pittsburg I was delightfully entertained at the hos- 
pitable home of Supt. W. M. Davidson and family. He asked 

[150] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

me to speak to his high school and grade principals, perhaps 
one hundred and fifty in number, introducing me with com- 
plimentary words aplenty. I spoke on "The Teacher as a 
Superman," and was given close attention and generous ap- 
plause. He also introduced me to his board of education to 
whom I spoke for a few minutes, being most cordially re- 
cieved. It gratified me greatly to find him so highly esteemed 
by all classes. He has accomplished most notable things at 
Pittsburg following a most successful career as superintendent 
of the Washington, D. C. schools, thus highly honoring his 
alma mater, the Kansas State Normal School and the class of 
1886. 

The objective point in the East was North Marshfield, 
Mass., where I had an enjoyable visit with my brother Joe's 
family leaving them well as I left for Boston. There I made 
a rich find in the city library in the shape of a large Millikin 
Genealogical book that I duplicated also in the New York 
library the next day. 

The next four months were spent in San Diego, Los An- 
geles, Pasadena and Long Beach meeting scores of old friends, 
— everywhere receptions, luncheons, dinners, etc. being given 
us by former Lincoln, Kansas Normal and Millikin alumni. 
With several enjoyable stops and calls on our return home we 
reached Decatur in time for the University commencement 
festivities and resumed our places in its community life verify- 
ing again the old story, — There's no place like home, — this too 
tho considering ourselves highly favored and blest in the mul- 
titude of devoted friends reaching from ocean to ocean. 

Other years have passed quickly, both of us being favored 
with fair health, and I have given considerable time to the 
revision of the manuscript for the Quarter-Centennial History 
of The James Millikin University, the publication of The Life 
Story of James Millikin before mentioned, and in the revising 
of many of my papers and in finishing up this personal life- 
story for preservation of which this is a closing chapter. 

The busy college life which we led for nearly half a cen- 
tury precluded much reading which we now find most engag- 
ing and profitable, both of us endeavoring to keep up in a 
measure with current literature and the interesting develop- 
ments of our progressive modern life so marvelous in its 
range and results. 

We are still endeavoring to take a part in the community 
and church life in which we never lose interest. For exercise 
I find our garden and lawns with daily chores are keeping me 
in fine fettle for which I am devoutly thankful. 

Our winter months continue to be spent largely in the 

[151] 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

milder climes of southern California, Louisiana and Florida 
where we frequently meet many alumni of our colleges who 
are doing their part in the world's work and who along with 
other good friends, old and new, find many ways to contribute 
to our comfort and enjoyment. The history, the romance, 
the local institutions always attract and engage us, so there is 
little time for ennui. 



1521 




FRANCES MINERVA DENT TAYLOR 



Mrs* Frances Minerva Dent Taylor 

She is the first child of Mr. and Mrs. John O. Dent of 
Wenona, Illinois, and was born on December 27, 1850, in her 
Grandfather's farm home on Sandy Creek. 

Her father's ancestors migrated from Yorkshire, England 
to Maryland and later to Virginia, about the middle of the 
XVIII century, settling in Monongalia county near Morgan's 
Town. Being thrifty and progressive, they played a promi- 
nent part in community affairs and bear an honorable record 
in the county's annals. Their names appear frequently among 
the civil, military, professional and business men of the time. 

Enoch Dent, her grandfather, together with his brothers, 
James and John, and their children moved to Magnolia, Illi- 
nois, in the eighteen thirties. Ele had married Judith Gapen 
of an equally well-known family in nearby Pennsylvania to 
whom were born Minerva, John Orville, Rawley Evans, Mar- 
garet, Marmaduke, Durley and Ellen. He purchased a farm 
south-east of Magnolia on the north side of Sandy Creek just 
west of the Meredian line later housing them all in a large 
brick house which is still standing. He and his wife in their 
declining years lived at Wenona across the road south of the 
John O. Dent family residence. 

His eldest son, John O, attended the first country school 
organized on Sandy Creek and being an unusually apt pupil 
secured a position as a teacher ere long and while in charge 
of a school near Henry, Marshall county, met Harriet Frances 
Spencer to whom he soon offered his hand and heart and they 
became one on March 13, 1850. She was born in Browning- 
ton, Vermont, November 8, 1832. Thus the blood of the 
Cavalier and the Puritan commingled on the broad prairies of 
Illinois to establish an ideal western home. 

Mrs. Dent's parents were Horace Spencer and Plarriet 
Parmenter Spencer. They migrated to Henry, Marshall 
county, Illinois in 1846, settling on a farm a few miles west of 
that town they became progressive farmers and ideal citizens 
exerting a widespread influence for better things. 

Mr. Dent early developed fine business tact and after his 
marriage settled on a good farm north-east of Wenona. He 

[155] 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

soon became interested in real estate, live-stock and nursery 
stock and ere long moved to town in whose up-building he at 
once became an active leader. Largely through his diplomacy 
and far-sightedness the Dwight-Lacon branch of the Chicago 
& Alton Railway runs through Wenona. He gave the public 
park on the east side to the city already an attractive shady 
resort. He and his brother Evans practically gave the land 
for the Wenona Cemetery. He also, with Colonel Plumb was 
an active promoter of the city of Streator, Illinois. 

These things and many others show his wisdom and pub- 
lic spirit. He was an active Democrat serving on the board 
of supervisors for several terms and one term in the State 
Legislature. It was largely through his zeal and generosity 
that the Wenona Seminary was founded in the early sixties. 
He was an enthusiastic leader and incorporator of the Union 
Fair Association serving as its president and manager for two 
terms or more and making Wenona the center of a great for- 
ward farmers' movement for many years. 

Twenty years later he became interested in orange grow- 
ing and invested largely in Grove Park, Florida, in which 
he and Mrs. Dent made their home for many years, greatly en- 
joying that mild climate. 

They celebrated their golden wedding anniversary on 
March 13, 1900, their daughter Minerva being the representa- 
tive of the distant relatives tho local friends helped to make 
it a very happy occasion. 

As they were in poor health we urged them to make their 
home with us at Emporia at their early convenience, which 
they finally consented to do, spending some time however, in 
visiting friends and relatives at Wenona and other places be- 
fore doing so. Wherever they went they were received most 
cordially and their hearts were made exceedingly glad. But 
our joy over their coming was suddenly changed to sorrow for 
practically without warning Mother Dent was taken away 
from us at the home of her son Horace in Kansas City as 
they were returning to us on the night of September 30, 1900, 
Father Dent, broken-hearted, came on to us, the near-by chil- 
dren gathering for the funeral and we laid her away in our 
lot in Maplewood cemetery. As was his earnest desire he 
was not long in following her for he went to sleep on January 
30, 1901 

He was a man of the strictest probity, of high ideals, of 
far-reaching vision, wise in council, generous to a fault, a 
citizen without guile, a devoted father and husband worthy 
the unfaltering love his family ever gave him. 

Mrs. Dent was a woman of the rarest spirit, of unselfish 

[156] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

devotion to her home and her family, beloved by all who knew 
her, keenly alive to her responsibility to the community of 
which she always considered herself an integral part, an in- 
spiration to all classes of people. Her home was a popular 
center of the town's social life. It was from a similarly 
wholesome home that I went to it as an accepted lover. 

Lovers of music often gathered in their home for practice 
and recitals which the parents warmly encouraged. She was 
the organist at the Cumberland Presbyterian church, receiving 
at the end of her service a handsome testimonial in the shape 
of a choice set of standard poetical works which she still 
prizes. Our own home became a similar center especially 
at Lincoln and Emporia while our children were with us. 

So these consecrated lovers sleep side by side in Maple- 
wood, Emporia, and are forever united in the same bonds that 
knit them together for half a century here. 

The children of John O. Dent are lineal descendents of 
four Revolutionary ancestors, — Colonel John Evans, Lieu- 
tenant John Dent, Captain David Scott and Sergeant Stephen 
Gapen, the "Fighting Quaker", and our daughter, Mrs. J. T. 
Cronkhite, Wichita, Kansas is a Colonial Dame through the 
first named. In the Civil War the more prominent Dents in 
the State of Virginia led in the opposition to its secession in 
1861 and joined actively in organizing the new State of West 
Virginia. 

Tho often solicited to do so, Minerva hesitated to join 
The Daughters of the American Revolution on account of 
other demands upon her time and strength. She finally united 
with the Decatur Chapter on September 14, 1912, on the Dent 
lineage credentials and in 1926 was again recognized on the 
Gapen record mentioned above. 

She is deeply interested in its aims and work and has 
served as chaplain and as ex-officio member of the. local coun- 
cil for several years. She has attended several State Confer- 
ences, and the National Congress at Washington and is un- 
usually well informed on its general policies and its attitudes 
on problems of a local, State or national nature. 

She was educated in the public schools, the Wenona 
Seminary and the Jennings Seminary, Aurora, Illinois. Tho 
limiting her musical studies largely to the piano, in which she 
became quite proficient, she has always considered her great- 
est gain to be a fine discriminating taste and appreciation of 
the higher forms of musical composition and its artistic execu- 
tion which our children inherited from her as well as from my- 
self through my father. 

She has improved every opportunity to visit the great art 

[157] 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

galleries of this country and such exhibits as are available 
from time to time. Few people excel her in her love of nature 
in whose glories she never tires and in whose beneficence she 
ever sees the handiwork of the Infinite God. 

She has been a habitual reader of the better class of litera- 
ture which we have kept on our tables and book-shelves. Few 
women have as choice, up-to-date home and foreign mission- 
ary library at command as needed in study classes and special 
exercises on occasion. Her acquaintance and command of 
her Bible is not often excelled. 

It has been a source of continual happiness to us that our 
daughters from their childhood have not only tried to live 
the better life but also to take an active part in community 
and church affairs wherever they have lived, often as capable 
leaders, but ever dependable workers. 

At the time of the consecration and baptism of our little 
daughter, Jessie, her mother was also baptized on confession 
of a former consecration. For long years she was the instruc- 
tor of a large Bible class of misses and young women many 
of whom still recall with gratitude the uplift it gave them. 
Daughter Kittie was baptized in our home at Emporia by Rev. 
J. M. Hubbert, our last Lincoln pastor, as he was on a visit 
shortly after we moved there. 

During my presidential terms in Kansas and Illinois their 
sympathetic interest in all that pertained to it and contributed 
to its success never lagged thus strengthening my hands at 
every step. The atmosphere of our home was so like that of 
the average student's own home that they ever felt welcome 
whether in joy or in sorrow. This was more especially true 
of those in the advanced classes whose attendance at the get- 
acquainted receptions in the Fall and the formals in the Spring- 
developed personal relationships that made government a 
simple problem and enjoyable friendships that last through all 
the years 

In the restful, sympathetic fellowship of our modest home 
I always have been greatly blest and whatever of success has 
come to me in my varied life is largely due to the wise counsel, 
the generous encouragement and the inspiration I ever found 
in it. Many of my addresses and my books have passed under 
helpful constructive criticism here. 



158] 



A Word of Appreciation 

In selecting the trustees to whom Mr. Millikin left his 
estate, he named three close business associates in the bank, 
Messrs. Orville Gorin, J. M. Brownback and S. E. Walker, and 
Mrs. Millikin and Dr. S. E. McClelland, a personal friend and 
chairman. All of them entered most sympathetically upon the 
administration of the trust following the general policy which 
he had pursued toward the University along with the oral in- 
structions he gave them. 

In 1911 they were able to erect and equip the Conserva- 
tory and Gymnasium buildings for us and later made possible 
some long due advances in the faculty salary list and to add 
materially to our library and other departmental facilities. 
Mr. Millikin had contributed to the college for buildings, 
equipment and current expenses for the first eight years 
nearly half a million dollars and in the nine years following 
his trustees allowed us as much more. 

"Would it not have been better for Mr. Millikin to have 
willed his estate directly to the Trustees of the University?" 
is a question often raised by our friends. Possibly they 
might have managed it equally well, which I think doubtful, 
but when it is considered that endowment funds yielding 5 
per cent are generally regarded as most wisely invested and 
that the amount just named was about 5.8 per cent per annum 
on the appraisement, aside from generous gifts to the Decatur 
and Macon County Hospital and other worthy local char- 
ities, his course certainly appears a most wise one. Further- 
more, they are now turning over to the endowment fund 
nearly three quarter million dollars to complete the million 
additional college endowment, and still retain intact the orig- 
inal amount of the estate, a bit of financing most uncommon 
in college management. The bank stock belonging to the 
estate is of course a most valuable asset and insures a highly 
dependable income. 

I wish here to express my sincere gratitude to them for 
the uniform courtesy shown me in our personal relations and 
for their deep interest in the upbuilding of the college. In 
the exercise of their prerogative in making nominations to 

[1591 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF* ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

the University Trustees for members of the Board of Man- 
agers, I always found them considering my preferences as 
Mr. Millikin usually had done. Few institutions of learning 
are more fortunate in their administrative boards. 

The statistical reports of the James Millikin University 
at Decatur for last year were approximately as follows : 

The Endowment funds including scholarships are now ap- 
proximately one and three quarter million dollars. 

The value of the campus, buildings and equipment is esti- 
mated conservately at over a million one hundred thousand. 

The attendance of over seven hundred the first year in- 
creased to over a thousand in all departments and has varied 
above that year after year. 

The income from all sources is now approximately a quar- 
ter million dollars. 

The scholarship and self-help awards of all kinds for the 
last year are listed at about $33,000. 



11601 



Addenda 

The Clear Creek Cumberland Presbyterian Church was organized 
in 1854 with 24 members by the Rev. S. E. Hudson recently of Penn- 
sylvania, my father being one of the original members. Others joining 
were also from Southwestern Penn. A comfortable house of wor- 
ship was later erected and in 1874 it reported an enrollment of 40 mem- 
bers. The first pioneer preacher whom I remember was a Mr. Trous- 
dale of whom my brother Joe and I were in some awe, tho while 
waiting our turn at the breakfast table one morning sitting on the 
woodbox he convulsed me by trying to sing sotto voce the following 
melody: 

"All around the chimney top 

The monkey chased the weasel, 
The preacher kissed the cobbler's wife; 
And that's the way the money goes, 
Pop! goes the weasel!" 

We kicked the side of the wood-box with our heels for applause, 
but our mother was with us instanter and suppressed us without a 
smile. 



My father was a strong Prohibitionist from his early youth and an 
active member of the Sons of Temperance, the Good Templars and 
other organizations of a similar type. So were other members of our 
family and all took an active part in promoting the cause especially in 
the city elections. So active was he in these campaigns that he made 
bitter enemies among the liquor folk, tho they generally honored his 
fearlessness. I well remember many anxious evenings in which we 
awaited his home-coming. He was a fearless man and never shirked 
a call to duty. The margin of votes in our town was so small that 
the result was always uncertain, tho the prohis won perhaps over half 
of the time for long years. 



When Professor Lyman B. Kellogg was leaving the Illinois State 
Normal University to go to the Kansas State School as its president, 
I was a student there in the Model Training School and heard him de- 
liver his inaugural address at assembly as he said to get in practice for 
its delivery out in the plains. Little did I think that he would wel- 

[163] 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

come me there as one of his successors less than a score of years after- 
ward and become a member of my board and one of my dearest friends 
and counsellors. 



Before entering college at 23, I had access to comparatively few 
books tho they were generally of the better sort and whetted my appe- 
tite for more. At college I had little time to give to the limited range 
of books in our library, therefore the nature of my work forced me to 
cover a variety of related and extraneous reading matter in order to be 
of such service to my students as I desired, hence I had little respite 
for recreation. 



In entering on administrative and lecture work in Kansas, I had 
still less relief for I was building up a great school for teachers in that 
ambitious and progressive commonwealth whose demands upon me 
were very exacting. I need not mention the fact that the time given 
to the organization, inauguration and development of The James Milli- 
kin University with its comprehensive character, blazing much of the 
way, left little leisure especially as I taught a senior class in addition 
a major part of the time. I do not speak of these limitations in a 
deprecatory way for they were continuous goads to more intensive 
reading and study in ever enlarging spheres and brought me in great 
measure whatever of success I attained in my life-work. 



For many years the members of each Senior Class in the State 
Normal School of Kansas met one evening each week in our home for 
the purpose of reading together several different English translations of 
Homer's Iliad with a view of a better understanding of the original and 
a keener appreciation of that great classic. 

As President of the State Normal School of Kansas and member of 
the State Board of Education, and as visitor and lecturer in all parts 
of the commonwealth, I was able to stimulate wide-spread interest in 
the development of a more efficient system of schools and higher stand- 
ards for teachers thru the nineteen years of my sojourn there. I or- 
ganized the Child-Study section of the State Teachers' Association, was 
a member of the State Text-Book Commission for a short time, was 
President of the State Teachers' Association one year, was the Super- 
visor of the Kansas Educational Exhibit at the World's Fair at Chicago 
in 1892 and was Vice President for Kansas of the Pan-American Exposi- 
tion at Buffalo in 1901. By the courtesy of my good friends among the 
citizens of Emporia, I became a Life Director of the National Educa- 
tional Association in 1889. 

When in Kansas I was approached with offers or with requests 
for the consideration of the presidencies of some of the Best State Nor- 
mal Schools in the West and of half a dozen colleges and universities 

[164] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

but declined them all save Millikin for the sake of my ever enlarging 
work in Kansas tho not unmindful of the honor done me. Another 
attractive invitation was to the editorship of the E. L. Kellogg & Com- 
pany's Educational Publications in New York in 1900. They were 
reaching over 300,000 teachers of all grades in all parts of the United 
States and the temptation to accept was not a light one. 



The unprecedented attendance of students, over five hundred at the 
opening of The James Millikin University at Decatur called forth many 
enquiries about how it was done. Those from Dr. A. E. Winship, editor 
of The Journal of Education, Boston Mass., and Dr. Lyman Abbott the 
veteran Editor of the Outlook, New York, as they visited us afterwards 
on lecture tours showed especial interest. No one was more surprised 
however than Mr. Millikin himself for whom it was the happy realiza- 
tion of a life-dream more surprising than he had ever dared to hope. 

I am occasionally asked the reason for writing the particle the 
before James Millikin University with the capital T. There is a reason 
for it, first because Mrs. Millikin requested it and also because that is 
its name as the Dutchman said when he was asked why he called his 
dog Fritz. See the charter of the institution. 

One day a few years after the college was opened, an old collegian 
said to me that the college had been of great benefit to the city intel- 
lectually, morally, socially and commercially. At the end of the first 
decade the Daily Review sent out an enquiry to one hundred leading 
citizens asking them to name the best thing coming to Decatur in the 
preceding ten years. Practically all replied "The James Millikin Uni- 
versity." In speaking of this the editor said that it was a great surprise 
in view of the fact that Decatur was a strictly commercial city hence 
they at first were very skeptical about its being a great benefit to the 
city as a whole. 



Perhaps a score of years ago I was asked to name the books that 
have helped me and my reply may be worth-while inserting here. 

It is not an easy thing to determine what books have helped me 
most. Some have instructed me and others have inspired; some have 
fortified me in my beliefs, others have changed them. Some have helped 
me to know myself, others to know my fellows; some have softened 
and tempered my nature, others have strengthened my faith and given 
me courage. Some have prepared me for appreciating other books. 

The one that has touched all sides of my nature is The Book of 
Books. No other book compares with it in range of thought, in sub- 
limity of expression, in grasp of the mighty problems of humanity. 
Next to it Shakespeare has sounded the depths of human passion and 
human experience so accurately, so masterfully that the Universal Man 
seems to be ever speaking to me helping me to see what I am and what 

[165] 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

I ought to be. I find little refuge behind my frailties when he speaks 
and am helped to see to what great heights the true man may rise. 

When a young man, Prescott's Peru and Plutarch's Lives opened 
my eyes and set me to dreaming dreams and seeing visions. Lamartine's 
Lives served the same purpose later though in a more wholesome and 
practical way. I had become somewhat of a pharisee, when fortunately 
I began to study Winslow's Moral Philosophy, which almost revolu- 
tionized my conception of the nature of conscience and left me little 
on which to stand save an abiding faith in the right and a love and 
sympathy for my fellow-men which grows stronger with the lapse of 
years. About the same time I read Mahan's Natural Theology, which 
to my mental understanding seemed to be the most complete and con- 
vincing piece of argumentation I had ever seen. I have not changed 
my mind. 

Probably no book has helped me more to the appreciation of good 
literature than Mathew Arnold's Essays on Criticism. In writing at 
my table I often almost feel his presence urging simplicity of style and 
clearness of expression. John Ruskin's Seven Lamps of Architecture 
whetted my appetite for better literature as did Carlyle's Heroes and 
Hero Worship. 

Homer enlarged and liberalized me, Virgil made me a citizen of 
the world, Burns a man among my neighbors, Whittier a lover of the 
institutions of my country. 

Among the books that have helped me to go out to my fellow-men 
and become one of them have been Franklin's Autobiography, Plato's 
Phaedo, Arius the Lybian Anonymous, Boniface's Picciola, Laboulaye's 
Abdalla, Phelp's A Singular Life, Burns' Cotter's Saturday Night, Dick- 
ens' Dombey and Son, DeQuincy's Confessions of an Opium Eater. 
Muloch's John Halifax, Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter, John Habberton's 
All He Knew, Topelius' Alchemy, Hugo's Les Miserables and Smiles' 
Self-Help, Muhlbach's Marie Antoinette and Her Son. 

Many of my readers may never have heard of some of these books; 
others may deem some of them very common-place. I am simply say- 
ing that they helped me and I have no hesitation in commending them 
to people in general. 

I have not included in the foregoing list several scores of books of 
the heavier type treating on historical, philosophical, pedagogical, scien- 
tifical, ethical, theological, and other themes which have contributed 
to a development and mental equipment which all professional men 
find profitable. In addition to treatises on the subjects named, the age 
in which we live is most prolific in marvelous periodical literature 
covering almost every conceivable subject of human interest so that 
everybody can easily find healthful, informational and uplifting reading 
in unlimited quantity and practically without price. 

[1661 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

Among my lectures and miscellaneous articles many of which have 
been published, are the following: The Present Status of the Profes- 
sion in The Transactions of The Kansas Educational Association; The 
Doctrine of the Human Conscience in The Theological Quarterly; Self- 
Respect in You and I in Living Thoughts; An elaborate article on 
Pedagogics in The Students' Cyclopeodia; The Justification of Method; 
The Spelling Reform Movement; The Development of the Modern Col- 
lege; A brief History of Lincoln University in The Lincolnian; The 
Semi-Centennial Address to the Alumni of The Kansas State Teachers' 
College; Will there ever be a Higher Order of Animal than Man?; 
Benefits of Bible Study; The Essentials of Religion; The Art of Ex- 
pression; Professional Preparation of the Teacher; Vertical Correlation; 
Importance of Method in Schools and Colleges; The Objective Point in 
Education; Methods of Study; Finding the Way to the Pupil's Heart; 
The Struggle for Life; Some Problems of Life; Stage in which Special- 
ization in Education should Begin printed in the transactions of the 
Illinois State Teachers' Association; The University and Industrial 
Education; The Transformation of the Immigrant; What Constitutes 
Scientific Teaching?; What the Layman Expects of The Physician; 
The Men and Religion Forward Movement; Aptness to Teach; Report 
of Sub-Committee on Courses of Bible Study in Preparatory Schools; 
The Benefits of an Education; Herbart's The Sphere of Sociology; 
Method in Secondary Schools and Colleges; History of Normal School 
Work in Kansas; The Test of a Teacher's Efficiency; Educational 
Means; A Plea for The Graces; Some Wants in Our Public Schools; 
Tests and Tenures; Does Education Pay?; Authorities and Maxims; 
The Historical Development of the Modern College; The Tragic Story 
of the California Missions; The Measure of a Man; Creative Imagina- 
tion; The Morals of the Heroic Age; The Education that Best Fits 
for Life; Co-Workers with God; The Meaning of Education; The At- 
tainment of Our Birth-Right as Sons of God; Problems Our Boys and 
Girls will be called upon to Solve; If I were a Minister; Does Edu- 
cation Pay?; The Place of Art in the Community Life; Address at The 
Quarter-Centennial Anniversary of the Kansas State Normal School, 
What shall We Make of the Future?; Address at the Installation of 
President Joseph H. Hill; Address at the Dedication of the Topeka 
High School Building; Recitation Estimates; Evolution of the Teacher; 
Motives and Methods of Using Them; Normal School Extension; Ec- 
clesiastic Foodleism; Genius a Shield for Character. 



As I was opening my eyes in this world Samuel F. B. Morse was 
perfecting his magneto-electric telegraph which was destined to revolu- 
tionize world communication and also to stimulate a century of marvelous 
discoveries and inventions beyond the wildest dreams of the ages, and 
yet each decade has been outdoing its predecessors in every sphere of 

[167] 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

human knowledge and human achievement. So familiar are my read- 
ers with the amazing accomplishments of man's genius since then that 
I need not try to elaborate the possibilities of the immediate future. 
Almost with each succeeding day one or more discoveries are made or 
inventions reported which continue to contribute to our knowledge, our 
comfort and our progress. I often wonder how it is possible for this 
increasing range of human genius and human vision to continue at the 
present cumulative pace. All this is trite enough and more, but I detour 
to say that I have followed it up with a most lively interest and a keen 
appreciation of my ability to understand and enjoy it so fully. 



I was born in the midst of our war's alarms, Mexico and the 
United States being at each other's throats over the annexation of 
Texas and in scarcely a dozen years the bitter antagonisms then already 
aflame between the Slave and Free States developed into that frightful 
war still occasionally showing its hateful head. After four years of 
awful bloodshed so shocking to my youth, peace was declared and it 
would seem that the next generation would learn to settle its quarrels 
in a peaceful way. 

Trouble later with some Indian tribes however precipitated local 
wars, which tho short did not result in much glory to our arms nor 
to our prestige, for our Indian policy in the main has not done us 
much honor. 

Then came our set-to with Spain as the century was closing and 
our army and navy as well as our government at Washington came 
out of the fray recognized as one of the World's great powers, its con- 
cessions to the Spanish possessions showing its humanitarian ideals and 
its peaceful policy towards them. 

And yet in less than a score of years we were caught in that bloody 
maelstrom of European carnage ever to be called the World War, with- 
out question unexcelled by any of those awful scourges which swept 
over the Eastern continents ages ago. But I am however more san- 
guine than ever of the final triumph of the Prince of Peace in the 
affairs of the nations of the earth thru the machinery now perfecting 
in the League of Nations, the World Court, the Spanish-American 
Alliance and other minor agencies cooperating for I firmly believe in 
that one great consummation. Toward its final realization the proces- 
sions of the stars will ever continue to lead us. 



[168] 



From My Files 



THE CONCH SHELL 

What a beautiful fiction this, that the soft murmur of the conch 
shell as I put it to my ear, is the tale which the sea long ago poured 
into its chambers — a tale told to it in whispers and anon with the voice 
of the mighty tempest, the tumultuous churning of the contending 
waters, the deafening crash of wild thunders, the blinding sprangles of 
the livid lightning, the despairing cries of drowning seamen, the pitiful 
wail of the victims of the deep sea monsters — and yet all now issuing 
forth again from the labyrinths of the shell as a hushed lullaby, its 
discords and mad passions all gone, gratefully sweet and soothing. So 
the struggles and discords of life, the tempests, the disappointments, 
and shocking tragedies, the bitter sorrows, even the thrilling victories, 
gradually lose their sharp lines under time's tempering touch, mellow- 
ing to a harmony with the key to which each life is set. Few profes- 
sions are set to a nobler key than ours; few persons in any profession 
enjoy the consolations of a well-spent life more than the true teacher. 
The memories of the long gone years, years of conflict, of tension, of 
anxiety, of lack of appreciation, or self-denial, of sacrifice, of heart- 
aches, of betrayal of trust, of defeat in cherished plans, return again 
in the mellow years purified and chastened by the one consuming 
motive of life, service. The pleasures of imagination, however dear to 
youth, are far less satisfying than the pleasures of a memory thus re- 
fined and hallowed. 

— From "Among Ourselves." 



ALMA MATER 

There is no other word in our language that is so full of meaning 
as the short word, "home." It designates that place whose mere men- 
tion arouses more heart throbs than any other in the vocabulary of 
childhood or manhood. It transforms a box of a house into a charmed 
habitation where love warms the atmosphere and illuminates every 
object in it with a glow that gives a hallowed welcome alike to stranger 
and kindred. 

It includes more sympathetic ties, more wholesome impulses, more 

[1691 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

undying attachments, more unselfish service, more lasting impressions 
than any other place in the universe. It is alike the refuge of saint 
and sinner, of the man of affairs and the man of leisure, of the prince 
and the peasant, of the scholar and the novice, of the lonely and the 
idols of the social circles, of all classes and conditions of men. It is the 
vital unit of the national life and the watchful conserver of community 
traditions and ideals. 

Without it, one is worse than a man without a country for the finer 
fibers of his nature slowly if ever, develop and entwine themselves in 
a wholesome way with his fellow beings as they do in an ideal home. 

"There's a strange something, 
Which even fools feel 
And e'en wise men can't explain, 
Planted in man to bind him 
In dearest ties to that earth 
From whence he drew his birth." 

From such a precious spot and such a home, happily fitted for a 
larger sphere came the young men of long ago into college walls and 
into larger possibilities. There they found a similar quickening, sympa- 
thetic, invigorating atmosphere, satisfying and enkindling that craving 
for the larger life it was ever unfolding to them, testing their metal day 
by day and shaping purposes and plans for playing their parts in the 
great outside world drama. It was such as they, I say, that found no 
other words in any language so aptly expressing their affection and 
sense of obligation to their college as those so familiar to everybody 
now, — Alma Mater. Neither did they discover any more appropriate 
words for the college buildings and its loved campus than the good old 
Anglo-Saxon "ham" — home. 

Since then college alumni have found no other better word and so 
have called each other together at the old shrine for reunion and re- 
juvenation with the rallying "home-coming" cry which has thrilled 
every loyal son and daughter with a yearning akin to that of the longing 
for the home of their birth. 

A college alumnus without affection for his Alma Mater and with- 
out an abiding desire for prosperity and for a renewal of his fellowship 
with his mates in the old halls, must have lost golden opportunities 
when in college or have wholly forgotten them in the prosy routine of 
his self centered career and so lost their reinvigorating effect on his 
life. Negligence of the old adage, "Preserve well the dreams of thy 
youth" — has deprived him of its rarest heritages. 



ON ACCEPTANCE OF EAST GATEWAY, WILLIAM STREET 

1916 

I can hardly express my satisfaction at the erection of this, the 
fourth beautiful gateway in our scheme at the foot of William street 

[170] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

which is already one of the most attractive avenues in our wide-awake 
city and from which it makes such a handsome entrance to our wood- 
land campus. 

When I proposed this scheme of gateways some years ago, I was 
at once confronted with the question: Can we depend upon the coming 
graduating classes to carry out any scheme which will require several 
years to complete? We decided to risk it and you are seeing the result. 

I grant that it is an unusual thing but it was made possible because 
the scheme appeals to the artistic sense of the continuously unifying 
life of this college. 

There was a day when the people and the board of control of a 
public institution tolerated different types of architecture for all of 
its buildings and thus different architects employed had liberty in 
working out their own individuality in each case often producing incon- 
gruous and inexcusably freakish groups an offense to good taste. 

Many of you are familiar with examples of this character and ap- 
preciate the spirit expressing itself in the charming family of buildings 
adorning our delightful campus: similar enough to show their kinship, 
different enough to reveal their individuality, and thus quicken attention 
and kindle lively appreciation. 

These are the things that awaken the finer emotions and call into 
requisition the genius alike of the poet, the artist and the orator. 
This is done because they wish it to be done beautifully, eloquently and 
effectively. Its longing will be satisfied with nothing less hence the 
princely sums of money it willingly pours into the laps of those who 
can do it thoroly well. 

Art has always found its inspiration in nature. They two have 
ever been close together, hence landscaping came to lead all the fine 
arts. This inviting college park is a fine example of their collaboration 
and these artistic gateways help to heighten its charm and beauty. 

But this whole campus with everything that it contains means 
more to a college man or woman and many times more to a Millikin 
alumnus than to any one else that passes through these inviting portals 
for deeper than the harmonious combinations of great forest trees, 
shapeful banks of shrubbery, variegated masses of fragrant flowers, 
graceful halls and restful lawns, are hallowed memories of the blessed 
quadrennium that transformed the rioting ambitions of verdant youth 
into the well-balanced man of far-reaching vision and conscious power, 
that gave him purposes and plans for life. 

The first courtship was in a garden. It was there that a man and 
a woman learned to love each other and on through these on-rushing 
centuries gardens, parks and arboreta have been the trysting place, the 
rendezvous, the retreat of kindred spirits whether they be lovers, friends, 
or searchers for truth. 



[171 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

THE OLD MAN OF THE MOUNTAIN 

(Just after one passes the head of the beautiful Profile Lake in the 
White Mountains, a remarkably clear cut profile of a beardless old man 
appears, perhaps five hundred feet above on the very apex of a steep, 
rugged cliff. With solemn visage it overlooks a vast region. It is the 
Great Stone Face of Hawthorne's story and the Indians are said to have 
worshiped it in the olden time.) 

Old Man of the Mountain, 

Pray tell us from what strange race, 
What servitude previous, 

Or travail sore, sprang thy 
Wind battered, storm-beaten face? 

Were't thou not born when these were 
Born, hid secure within 

Their rock-ribbed breasts against the Ice 
King's blasts, the lightning's shafts, 

The endless roar and crash of swirl- 
ing floods and deaf'ning thunders? 

What fierce Titanic hands 

Tore thy massive shields from off 
Thy grim face and left thee naked, 

Helpless, nerveless, defenceless, 
As Prometheus bound, forever 

Attacked — ever defying — never dying? 

What is thy mission here, 

As mute and deaf and blind, thou 
Dost ever face each rising sun 

And lost in black night's deep'ning 
Gloom, dost wait a coming dawn, — 

Perchance an incarnation? 

Thou art monarch of all 

You survey; from mountain to 
Mountain and on to the sea, 

There's none thy rule to dispute, — 
But who is so loveless, 

So lonely, so helpless as thee? 

Oh stern visaged watcher, — 

Hast thou no message for me? 
No word from Eternity's dawn, from 

The cycles of years thou hast seen, 
The songs of the spheres thou hast heard — * 

Alack! Alack! Where art thou old man? 
Thou'rt not a wizard! Thou'rt only a phantom 

Playing around the top of the mountain! 



*At the turn of the road fronting the Profile, it suddenly vanishes and only the 
rough, irregular rocks are seen. 

[172] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 



THE FLUME, A SNAP SHOT* 

The Flume, the Flume! 

Ah! 'tis there! Sure 'tis there! 
And has been since the flood, 

Waiting for us to come 
And climb its rocky stair 

To learn the way the earth was made. 

Thru its portals low, 

Its gladsome waters dance 
And toss their swirling arms 

In glee, as we advance 
And smile without alarm, — 

For danger lurks not here with them. 

It is far above, 

Where pent-up, angry floods 
Are dashing and breaking 

Against the frowning rocks, 
Which stay their fierce plunging, 

Arousing ever the rumbling thunders. 

And farther still, twixt 

Lowering, dripping walls 
That shut them in and hurl 

Them back and forth in ghoul- 
ish joy, they writhe and groan 

In confusion wild-indescribable. 



Up and on we climb, 

The wild waters, now more free, 
Now shunted here, now driv'n there, 

And up and down and everywhere, 
In furious leaps that fill the air 

With seething foam and blinding mists. 

And thus thru the light, 

Thus thru the night, thus thru 
Eternities of years, 

Tumultuous waters 
Are ever a'tumbling, ever 

Advancing — receding, — a'pounding. 

So this is the home 

Of the Flume! this deep noiseful canon, 
This earth-riv'n side of the mountain, — 

Always rent with its passion — 
Yet gently twirling its waters 

Dancing and singing out to the Ocean. 



*The broken movement is suggested by the character of the ascent. Near The 
Profile House, White Mountains. 



1731 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

LAKE LOUISE 

Lake Louise, Lake Louise! 

Swung 'atween the shifting clouds, 
Nestled 'neath Victoria's snows, 

Fed from out their melting breasts, — 
Queen of Lakes and Lady fair. 

Lake Louise, Lake Louise! 

Buttressed in walls that shade the sky, 
Enfringed, enmossed with green, — serene, — 

For fear nor trouble touches thee; 
Blessed Lake Louise. 

Lake Louise, Lake Louise! 

Wafting gently back to me, 
As a fragrant summer breeze, 

Come mem'ries of a day so rare, 
With thee enthralled, Lake Louise. 

Lake Louise, Lake Louise! 

In thee again I saw the Lord 
In visions of his power and word, 

And faith anew awoke with joy 
Aroused by thee, Lake Louise. 

Lake Louise, Lake Louise! 

Thou'rt often with me in my dreams; 
And fear departs and trouble seems 

A wizard's myth, a wisp o' the will; 
Dear, restful Lake Louise. 

Laggan, Sept. 11, 1913. 



A DECEMBER REVERIE 

Cold, cold, dead cold! 
Shivering wind and icy blast, 
Shut up, locked up, sealed up, 
Covered over with snow, — 

Hoary Winter reigns at last. 

Cold, cold, dead cold, 
Nature's tolling herself to sleep; 
The King of day, far away, 
Hears not the Ice King's chuckle, — 
Nor his children moaning deep. 

Shut up, locked up, 
Sleep the timid flocks, wotting not 
The glad, wild chimes without 
Filling the earth and sky 

With the songs the angels brought. 

"Life, life, glad life! 

And peace for all, the Christ-child brings. 
Ice King, Day King, Death King, 
All Kings, yield their crowns to him, — 
And God is justified. 

[174] 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 



A BACCALAUREATE HYMN, 1895 

Grant us, O Lord, thy presence now 

In all life's winding ways. 
Be thou our guide through all our years, 

Our friend through all our days. 

Thy precepts graven in our hearts, 

Thy love's refining power, 
In pastures green, by waters still, 

Will lead in every hour. 

May we, as ends life's fitful dream, 

In thy dear arms be found, 
Content to know where we did fail, 

Thy love and grace abound. 



[175] 



A Few Bouquets In Passing 

President A. R. Taylor, Ph.D., for nineteen years president of the 
Kansas State Normal at Emporia, has resigned that position to take 
the presidency of the new Millikin University at Decatur, 111. We 
congratulate the doctor upon his election to this new field. During 
these years he has built the Kansas school from a few hundred to 
about two thousand, has greatly increased its scope and magnified its 
influence. Through all the political changes in Kansas incident to 
these years he has maintained his place. This speaks for his ability and 
discretion. He is one of the best loved men in Kansas, and his name 
is a household word in many homes where he has never been. The 
Board of Regents reluctantly accepted his resignation. 

His imprint has been on all the school laws, his graduates have 
been in every city and county, his voice has been everywhere wel- 
come, he has been a noble valued representative of the State in all 
national educational councils. It is little short of a calamity for a State 
so circumstanced to lose a man so related to its very life. 

If President Taylor is given a free hand in the organization of this 
new enterprise, we expect to see a school that will be an honor to 
Illinois and a monument to enlightened and consecrated energy. — A. E. 
Winship, Editor, in American Journal of Education, Boston. 



The resignation of Albert R. Taylor as president of the Kansas 
State Normal School, which will be handed to the Regents of the in- 
stitution today will take from Kansas one of its ablest men, and from 
the work of education in the Missouri Valley one of its strongest, most 
efficient craftsmen. The loss to the State and to the profession of 
teaching in Kansas, will be a serious one — one that may not be replaced 
for years. President Taylor is a man of extraordinary force of char- 
acter; and he has impressed himself and his ideals on this common- 
wealth for over half a generation more deeply and more strongly than 
any other one man. He has been in the very place of all places in 
Kansas where the opportunity for personal impressions was the strong- 
est — at the head of the teaching force of the common school system 
of the state. His force for good is inestimable, and the debt which 
Kansas owes to him may not be reckoned in dollars and cents. To 

N771 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

his new work, where Kansans regretfully see him going, his host of 
friends send him with the best wishes in the world and the highest 
hopes. — William Allen White, Editor, Emporia Gazette. 



President Taylor's retirement after 16 years of service as the head 
of Millikin University is an event which should not pass unnoticed, 
either by the community or by students and alumni. President Tay- 
lor's unique place as the creator of the educational plan of the college, 
the advisor in the planning of its buildings, the president who assembled 
the faculty, the administrator who has directed with painstaking care 
the affairs of the institution through all but two years of its history, 
and the public-spirited citizen of Decatur, warrants at this time an 
expression of the recognition and gratitude which the community has 
accorded him so long in silence. 

With an adequate endowment, Millikin may well expect to enter 
upon a new period of success which will eclipse the past under the 
new president, but this hope can be entertained only because the founda- 
tion has been well laid. No matter who is chosen as the new head 
of the college, he will find his work easier because President Taylor 
has blazed the trail for him. President Taylor's efforts in behalf of 
Millikin have been of the sort money can not buy. The creation of the 
new college and its development into a strong and worthy educational 
institution has been the crowning achievement of a lifetime in educa- 
tional work. 

The story of the creation and development of Millikin University 
under the guidance of President Taylor is one of the most romantic in 
the history of American colleges. President Taylor had the very rare 
privilege of becoming president of the college before its birth, thus 
enjoying the opportunity of having a voice in the planning of its build- 
ings, the designing of the whole educational plan, its organization, the 
assembling of an entire faculty, and the pleasure of seeing the institu- 
tion grow from an idea in the mind of the man whose name it was 
to bear to completely formulated plans, then into a living structure 
which surpassed all of the original hopes of the founder. 

In accordance with the aims of James Millikin, President Taylor 
designed an institution in which collegiate work would be combined 
with practical training in vocational subjects. There were at that time 
few precedents for the recognition of credits in manual training, house- 
hold arts, and similar subjects in the granting of college degrees. In 
drafting the Millikin University plan of a group of schools devoted to 
vocational courses and associated with the required collegiate work, 
President Taylor was risking much on an educational innovation. Pro- 
gress in colleges throughout the country since that time, however, has 
been in the same direction and the wisdom of his plan is amply vin- 
dicated. 

[1781 



ALBERT REYNOLDS TAYLOR 

As a judge of character in selecting members of his faculty and 
in relationships with students, President Taylor is regarded by many 
at his best. Millikin has been fortunate from the first in the possession 
of many faculty members of unusual calibre for the small college. To 
him belongs the credit for bringing these men to Decatur in spite 
of the competition that now exists and the limited financial resources 
at his command. 

In his work as an administrator, he has astonished everyone who 
has come into contact with him by his extraordinary faculty for details. 
He knows everything pertaining to the institution entrusted to his 
charge. Whether it is about the amount of a coal bill for the month 
preceding, the required courses in any school, the manner in which 
the lowliest janitor or the highest-paid faculty member performs his 
duties, he can answer any inquiry put to him. There are few students 
in the institution he can not recognize by name. Personal interest and 
attention to every phase of the administration has been the keynote of 
his work. 

Decatur owes acknowledgment to President Taylor not only be- 
cause of his very large part in building up Millikin University however, 
but also because he has found time in spite of the claims of his office, 
to be a good citizen. It has been well said of him that his Decatur did 
not have its eastern boundary along the line of the St. Louis branch of 
the Wabash. All community interests have been his interests. It is 
characteristic of him that he should have been the organizer of the 
University club, and for three years its president. He came to Decatur 
with the definite intention of making his home here, and adopted at 
once the community as his own. Decatur may well rejoice that he will 
continue to make his home here, and that he will not retire in his func- 
tion as a loyal and distinguished citizen. 

The college year just closed was the 45th that President Taylor had 
devoted to educational work. His rest is well earned. During the long 
period of his active life he has had a part in shaping the lives of 25,000 
students, thousands of whom have received diplomas from his hands. 
He has to his credit the accomplishment of building up two great 
educational institutions, Kansas State Normal at Emporia, and Millikin. 
Nineteen years of his life were devoted to the Kansas school, which 
consisted of 400 students and one small building when he took charge 
of it. and which he left with nearly 2,000 students and a group of 
magnificent buildings, the great hall of which is named in his honor. 
As a writer and lecturer on educational topics, he has added further to 
the lustre of his name. During his travels, from one side of the United 
States to the other, he has seldom visited in a city of any size in which 
former students were not present to greet him. The community in 
which he lives, and which has benefited by his work shares the senti- 
ments of these, who know him best and like them offers congratulations 
upon nearly a half century of work well done. 

Decatur Herald— June 6, 1919— W. F. Hardy, Editor. 

[179] 



A Parting Word 

I count it a great privilege to have been permitted to live 
so long in such a progressive age in the world's history and to 
take an active part in the widespread educational movement 
which has contributed so largely to its accomplishments. 

In closing this brief review of my life, I am very conscious 
of having omitted many things which might have been more 
illuminating and more interesting to my readers than some of 
those which I have included but I trust that as a whole the 
story may prove acceptable to those who have so kindly made 
its publication possible. It has been a labor of love which is 
its own reward. 



[180] 



UNIVERSITY LIBRARY